Perpetual conservation easements and landowners: evaluating easement knowledge, satisfaction and partner organization relationships.
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Conservation easements are being more widely used to facilitate permanent land conservation. While landowners who initially place a conservation easement on their land are generally highly motivated to protect the conservation values of their land, changes in landownership may hinder long-term active landowner support for these easements. Maintaining such support is critical for ensuring their effectiveness as a conservation tool. Our research reports on results from a mail survey sent to landowners in Texas who own property encumbered with perpetual conservation easements. They were asked about their level of satisfaction concerning their conservation easement and the relationship with their easement holder. Additionally, landowners were asked how well they remembered and understood the terms of their conservation easement. We also examined institutional aspects of easement holding organizations and variables associated with landownership that affected these attitudes. Among institutional factors, frequency of contact between landowners and easement holders and the category of agency (federal, state and local or non-governmental agency) were significant in determining level of satisfaction with the easement and perceived relationship with the easement holder. Landowner factors affecting these same issues included easement grantor or successive generation landowner, gender and motivations driving landownership. We did not find any significant variables related to landowners' knowledge about their easement. Management implications from this study suggest that easement holders should increase staff capacity capable of providing targeted landowner technical assistance and outreach beyond compliance monitoring. Additionally, landownership motivations should be considered by easement holders when deciding whether to accept an easement. Finally, expressed dissatisfaction with federal governmental easement holding institutions should be explored further.
author list (cited authors)
Stroman, D. A., & Kreuter, U. P.
complete list of authors
Stroman, Dianne A||Kreuter, Urs P