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Open AccessArticle

Towards a Characterization of Working Forest Conservation Easements in Georgia, USA

1
Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(6), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060635
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 2 June 2020 / Published: 4 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
We examine the attributes of working forest conservation easements in Georgia. Easement contracts and baseline reports are inspected to investigate easement themes, land use types, recreation opportunities, hydrological features, and forest management activity. Easement themes are heavily weighted towards themes of protecting natural habitat and preserving the conservation values of properties. Predominant land use types include wildlife food plots, bottomland hardwoods, and planted pine stands. Common hydrological features found were small creeks/streams and ponds. Lastly, forest management was characterized as having small amounts of restrictions present, with forest management being largely similar to other unencumbered property in the southeastern USA. This information can be used as a reference for landowners interested in establishing a working forest conservation easement (WFCE) on their property as well as a tool for comparison for researchers investigating easement characteristics in other regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; forest management; land use; property restriction; recreation ecosystem services; forest management; land use; property restriction; recreation
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Reeves, T.; Mei, B.; Siry, J.; Bettinger, P.; Ferreira, S. Towards a Characterization of Working Forest Conservation Easements in Georgia, USA. Forests 2020, 11, 635.

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