Strategies for the Future of Conservation: 2006 Workshop Summary and Background Materials
Pocantico Conference Center, Tarrytown, New York, June 8-10, 2006
Hosted by the Land Trust Alliance and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Bradford Gentry, Rebecca Sanborn, and Gordon Clark
The U.S. land trust community has a remarkable record of success, particularly in the past few decades – over six million acres of land have been protected by negotiating voluntary agreements with landowners to buy or receive permanent interests in land. Charitable and government monies – either tax deductions for gifts or grants for purchases – have been the main sources of funds for these transactions.
However, severe challenges now face these efforts, including steep increases in land prices in many parts of the U.S., decreases in the federal and state funds available for land acquisition, as well as media reports raising questions about the public value of some conservation transactions. Taken together, these developments have led many to wonder whether the traditional model of “bucks and acres” (i.e. conservation through the simple purchase or donation of land or easements) is running out of steam or at least needs to be supplemented with other approaches.
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