Hypothetical situation before I attempt a break from this space: You are part of a community that lives on an isolated mountaintop. When your ancestors got to the mountaintop, they found a particular kind of green stones lying around in abundance. These turned out to be valuable to the community for building homes, because the stones are easily laid on top of each other to form attractive and sturdy green walls.
Initially, there were so many stones that nobody even thought that there might be a finite number of them. But as the years and generations pass, and the population on the isolated mountain top increases and more houses get built, sure enough: the stones gradually become harder to find. This is a slow process, but eventually, at least to long-time residents, it becomes clear that they are soon going to run out of the stones.
Question: Of the two below, what's the more likely scenario?
* As the number of stones dwindles, they get more and more valuable. People are willing to pay higher and higher prices for them, and eventually even get into pitched fights with their neighbours for the remaining stones. By the time there are only a handful of stones left, those few are under permanent heavy guard, in effect museum pieces.
* As the number of stones dwindles, and since this happens slowly, they actually lose their economic importance to the community. By the time there are only a handful of stones left, they are essentially worthless, so nobody even notices the last ones being used up.
Bonus questions: Do you need any other information that might be relevant to trying to answer this? What? Does the kind of resource -- green stones, in this case -- matter? i.e. would it be different if we were talking about truffula trees, or birds that can be hunted for food, or a source of potable water?
Extra bonus question (though a simple one): why "truffula"?
Note: I don't have a definite answer about which of the two scenarios might apply. I can see it going either way, perhaps depending on the resource in question. (Consider oil, consider herbs).