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Article
The Invisible Forest: Conservation Easement Databases and the End of the Clandestine Conservation of Natural Lands
Duke Journal of Law & Contemporary Problems (2011)
  • James L. Olmsted
Abstract
This article explains the history and features of the National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) that is poised to become operational and available online after May 31, 2011. The NCED is the result of a collaboration of five major organizations: the Conservation Biology Institute, the Trust for Public Land, the Defenders of Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited, and NatureServe. The NCED effort has also been supported by the Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. By way of introduction to discussion of the NCED, the article lays out the pros and cons of making conservation easement existence, location, and associated data available to various groups —for example land use planners, scientists, and land trusts—and to the general public. Moving from this topic, the article describes current achievements and ongoing efforts to obtain, aggregate and dispense conservation easement data. In so doing, the article describes efforts of selected states and corresponding efforts of various nonprofit organizations to achieve comprehensive and data-rich conservation easement databases. For additional information about conservation easement databases and links to databases referred to in this article please use this link: http://www.landprotect.com/Conservation_Mapping.html
Keywords
  • conservation easement,
  • land trust,
  • databases,
  • NCED,
  • PAD-US
Disciplines
Publication Date
2011
Citation Information
James L. Olmsted. "The Invisible Forest: Conservation Easement Databases and the End of the Clandestine Conservation of Natural Lands" Law & Contemporary Problems 74.4 (2011): 51-82. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1690007