Voluntary Conservation: Private landowner participation in North Carolina's Natural Heritage Program (spatial analysis of the Natural Heritage Program in North Carolina)

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Title: Voluntary Conservation: Private landowner participation in North Carolina's Natural Heritage Program (spatial analysis of the Natural Heritage Program in North Carolina)
Author: Cassingham, Kirsten Michaele
Advisors: Erin O. Sills, Chair
Heather M. Cheshire, Member
Subhrendu Pattanayak, Member
Hugh A. Devine, Member
Abstract: Conflict between the public interests in non-timber amenities of forests and the private rights of forest owners has focused attention on voluntary conservation agreements as a policy tool. In North Carolina, the Natural Heritage Program identifies ecologically significant sites and provides two mechanisms for landholders to participate in conservation of those sites. Evaluation of the program from a spatial perspective focused on the mountain province of North Carolina, using a geographic information system (GIS) to characterize the conservation outcome of the program (i.e., what has been conserved) and the determinants of participation in the program (i.e., who has conserved). To characterize the participation decision, literature was reviewed on voluntary forest stewardship and conservation programs and spatial analysis of land-use. The effect of neighborhood characteristics (e.g., near-by protected areas) and distance (e.g., from highways and cities) was considered, as well as characteristics of the landowner and of the site. The conservation outcome of the program was evaluated in terms of protection of ecologically significant sites, considering both Heritage Program rankings and land cover.
Date: 2001-08-22
Degree: MS
Discipline: Natural Resources
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1232


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