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Keywords:

  • benefits;
  • costs;
  • economics;
  • ecosystem services;
  • nonmarket valuation;
  • restoration

In this article, our objective is to introduce economics as a tool for the planning, prioritization, and evaluation of restoration projects. Studies that develop economic estimates of public values for ecological restoration employ methods that may be unfamiliar to practitioners. We hope to address this knowledge gap by describing economic concepts in the context of ecological restoration. We have summarized the most common methods for estimating the costs and benefits of restoration projects as well as frameworks for decision analysis and prioritization. These methods are illustrated in a review of the literature as it applies to terrestrial restoration in the United States, with examples of applications of methods to projects. Our hope is that practitioners will consider collaborating with economists to help ensure that restoration costs and benefits are identified and understood.