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Easement or public land? An economic analysis of different ownership modes for nature conservation measures in California


Schöttker, Oliver; Santos, Maria J (2019). Easement or public land? An economic analysis of different ownership modes for nature conservation measures in California. Conservation Letters, 12(6):e12647.

Abstract

Biodiversity conservation requires space where conservation measures are implemented for a desired purpose. Setting land aside for conservation has been widely applied, while novel conservation modes (private–public partnerships, private mul-tipurpose land management) may be fundamental to achieve conservation goals. We perform an economic analysis of the cost development for two conservation options in California, in-fee and easements, from 1970 to today. We find that in-fee options have lower costs than easements in the long run. While there are high costs of purchase forin-fee, ultimately they even-out or generate profits. Costs of easements continue growing exponentially overtaking costs of purchase. Sensitivity analysis shows increases in purchasing prices and opportunity costs positively influencing conservation costs, while increasing interest rates negatively influence them. The results suggest that easements are not yet an economically viable alternative for in-fee conservation purchases. Our analysis is a first step to assess economic viability of choosing easements.

Abstract

Biodiversity conservation requires space where conservation measures are implemented for a desired purpose. Setting land aside for conservation has been widely applied, while novel conservation modes (private–public partnerships, private mul-tipurpose land management) may be fundamental to achieve conservation goals. We perform an economic analysis of the cost development for two conservation options in California, in-fee and easements, from 1970 to today. We find that in-fee options have lower costs than easements in the long run. While there are high costs of purchase forin-fee, ultimately they even-out or generate profits. Costs of easements continue growing exponentially overtaking costs of purchase. Sensitivity analysis shows increases in purchasing prices and opportunity costs positively influencing conservation costs, while increasing interest rates negatively influence them. The results suggest that easements are not yet an economically viable alternative for in-fee conservation purchases. Our analysis is a first step to assess economic viability of choosing easements.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Physical Sciences > Nature and Landscape Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Nature and Landscape Conservation
Language:English
Date:1 November 2019
Deposited On:09 Jan 2020 13:37
Last Modified:23 Feb 2022 12:23
Publisher:Wiley Open Access
ISSN:1755-263X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12647

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