Land trusts in the New West : conserving and responding to local geographies? Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x059c9879

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  • This research focuses on the relationship between the emerging role of land trusts and rapid growth and change in the West. Teton County, Idaho, Teton County, Wyoming, and Sublette County, Wyoming, and each of their associated land trusts, are used as case studies. Each county has experienced varying levels of agricultural activity throughout their respective histories, with transformations over time bringing about the current local economies and land use patterns that exist today. Interviews were conducted with land trust staff members and city and county planning officials and integrated with an evaluation of the local geographies of each county (biophysical attributes, population dynamics, industry, policies, and residents' land management preferences) as well as broader scale regulations and economies. The end result of this project demonstrates at local and regional scales how land trusts have become major players in the land use-land tenure equation of Western communities and how their operations are unique to the cultural, physical, and economic-political geographies of their service areas. While the West tends to be lumped together as one large entity with regard to policy decisions and ideas about private property rights, this research reveals a high amount of variation in the processes occurring in and shaping relatively small areas of the Western states -- lending itself to further studies on the interaction between different scales of land patterns in the region as well as how communities are approaching the challenges of New West landscapes.
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