Sun, Changyou

Committee Member

Gordon, Jason S.

Committee Member

Grado, Stephen C.

Committee Member

Poudel, Krishna P.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Complete embargo for 6 months||forever||5/15/2021

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


The use of conservation easements has been increasing in the United States. However, patterns of growth over time are different for individual states. Little is known on how determinants of conservation easements interact with one another and affect the choice of conservation approaches. The study objective was to analyze conservation easement trends and examine underlying choice determinants in the United States. Panel data models were employed to assess determinants of easement acres and contracts from 1995 to 2015. Findings revealed that the northern United States has the most percentage of land area under conservation easements. The growth in conservation easements was positively related to gross state products, land market values, air quality, and land use, while it was negatively related to state population density, conservation spending, easement duration and endangered species. Public policymakers would use these findings to integrate easement efforts into local planning to meet conservation and land-use objectives.