Agriculture in the Tongue River Basin, Output, Water Quality, and Implications
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Natural resources have long been important to economic activity in Montana. From wildlife populations to mineral deposits, different residents have recognized the natural potential of the state and worked to create wealth from different resources. Agriculture has been and remains a important means of creating economic value from natural resources—gross revenues from agriculture are larger than any other sector in Montana, though it ranks lower in terms of contribution to gross domestic product.1 This study considers the value of a specific natural resource in Montana—water quality in the Tongue River in the southeastern part of the state. The study has three main sections: the first documents the agricultural production of the region; the second evaluates the importance of water quality to that production; and the third considers the distributional implications including contribution to public finances.
Policy Paper 39: Agriculture in the Tongue River Basin, Output, Water Quality, and Implications, Timothy Fitzgerald and Grant Zimmerman, May 2013