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Landowner Inventives for Conservation around El Yunque National Forest

Author: Tania López-Marrero, Marianne Meyn, and L. Annie Hermansen-Báez
Date: 2009
Link: /el-yunque/fact-sheets/El%20Yunque%20FS4%20English.pdf
Abstract: Conservation of privately owned lands is one mechanism for sustaining and increasing forest cover and, in turn, supporting the services provided by forest ecosystems. Around El Yunque National Forest in eastern Puerto Rico, economic and political factors limit land purchases for conservation1. Monetary resources for land purchases for conservation have traditionally been funds allocated by the U.S. Congress, and those funds have been reduced nationally. As monetary resources for land acquisition have become scarcer and the pursuit of those funds more competitive, the need to explore alternative initiatives for forest conservation around El Yunque has become imperative. The conservation of privately owned lands—specifically landowner incentives for forest conservation—is one mechanism that El Yunque’s administration has identified as having the potential to maintain and increase forest cover around El Yunque. There is, however, a lack of knowledge about the awareness and attitudes of landowners toward incentive-driven land conservation programs and their willingness to take part in them. Moreover, there might also be a lack of knowledge on the part of agencies promoting incentive-driven conservation programs regarding local situations with owners and their lands that could limit the implementation of such conservation programs. This information summarizes the findings obtained from interviews conducted with thirty landowners from ten communities within the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) priority acquisition areas in El Yunque’s proclamation area, which is the area outside the administrative boundaries of El Yunque where the USFS has the authority to purchase land to expand its area for forest conservation purposes. The information provided in this fact sheet can help forest managers and natural resources specialists to design, promote, and better implement conservation programs around El Yunque, as well as in other state and national forests.

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