The Private and Public Economics of Land Trusts

North Carolina State Economist
July/August 2004

By Dominic P. Parker and Walter N. Thurman

As people become increasingly concerned about the effects of urbanization on their quality of life, the land conservation movement has moved to center stage. Land trusts are key actors in the movement and their influence is rapidly expanding. Almost 1,300 land trusts now operate at state and local levels compared with about 535 in 1984. While the highest concentration of trusts and conserved acreage is found in the Northeast, rapid growth is occurring throughout the country.

Parker is Research Associate at PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center and, Thurman is Professor of Ag. & Resource Econ. at NCSU and Sr. Associate at PERC.

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Dominic Parker is a Senior Research Fellow at PERC and is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at University of Wisconsin-Madison where he teaches courses in natural resource economics. His research examines how legal systems and government policies affect natural resource use, environmental outcomes, and economic...
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Wally Thurman is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University and a PERC Senior Fellow. Thurman was a PERC 2003 Julian Simon Fellow, a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and a recipient of that organization’s Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award as well as awards for his published...
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