Thesis Title

The Future of Open Space: A Comparison of Conservation Techniques in the United States

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Number of Pages

66

First Advisor

Holly Ewing

Abstract

Land preservation is quickly gaining momentum in communities throughout the United States. As farmers sell their land due to old age, health, or economic hardship, the land may be bought by developers and subdivided into new strip malls or homes. To counter this urban sprawl and to save farmland and open space from development, land conservation organizations have formed at the local, state, and national level. These organizations usually use land easements to protect land in perpetuity, but other mechanisms may work better in the long term or add to the benefits provided by an easement. After I developed a working understanding of agricultural history, land trusts, and conservation easements, I interviewed the directors of three land conservation organizations to learn more about the challenges and successes their organizations have experienced.

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