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The New Public Lands: Competing Models for Protecting Public Conservation Values on Privately Owned Lands

Date

May 2009
39

Issue

5

Page

10368

Type

Articles

Summary

Editors' Summary

The emergence of new hybrid categories of public interest lands represents an opportunity to advance the public interest. In recent decades, the U.S. government has acquired partial property interests over large acreages, meaning these properties must now be managed in accordance with governing statutes and regulations. Critics of this new model argue that the hybrid of public/ private ownership is inefficient and too many resources are required to monitor and enforce applicable regulations. To address these concerns, land trusts and other private conservation organizations that hold the new public lands are implementing a private system capable of protecting these hybrid interests across time. Land trusts are now voluntarily accepting a regime of strict accreditation standards to guarantee that each easement held is backed by endowed funds sufficient to support enforcement, and that there is in place a fully informed and regulated monitoring process.