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Abstract

Maryland has introduced a number of land preservation programs over the past 40 years to permanently preserve resource lands. Although new programs can increase the number of acres being preserved, they might have unintended impact on land preservation due to interaction with existing land preservation programs. The Maryland Rural Legacy program began in 1997 by designating large contiguous blocks of land and focusing its preservation efforts only in those areas. The program’s could attract existing programs to shift their preservation effort into this designated rural legacy areas if there exist economy of scale or they subsidized existing programs’ effort through matching funds. Alternatively, it could crowd out the others’ preservation efforts in these areas if the RL program raises the cost of preserving there. Using parcel level data and a property score matching method, we find: 1) parcels in designated RL areas are more attractive to preservation programs, 2) the RL program crowds in the preservation effort of the other programs, and 3) RL program preserves more parcels and acres of land in these areas due to increased funding.

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