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Abstract

Interest in conservation easements has grown, but relatively little is known about agricultural landowner preferences for conservation easements. Survey data are collected, segmented by landowner respondents’ states of residence, and analyzed. Responses indicate landowners are interested in preserving agricultural lands, but the majority of respondents were not interested in choosing conservation easement scenarios. Results suggest that interaction with conservation organizations, mistrust of land trusts, knowledge of easements, and less financial dependence on agriculture impacts preferences for conservation easements. The authors suggest that increased educational information and tradable income tax credits may improve landowner acceptance of conservation easements.

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