Conservation Trusts

Fairfax, Sally K., and Darla Guenzler | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Books & Profiles

Fairfax, Sally K., and Darla Guenzler. Conservation Trusts. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001. In an era when federal ownership and control of natural resources is under suspicion, conservation trusts have emerged into the policy limelight after more than a century in the shadows. This book asks whether conservation trusts can live up to their promise as an efficient and responsive environmental protection policy. The core of the book, and its most practical sections, are the chapters which define the features of a conservation trust and explain these features in nine case studies.The most visible of the case studies looks at the trust established to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Many of the trusts deal with wetlands protection, including Platte River’s whooping crane habitat, prairie potholes in North Dakota, and critical wetlands near the Everglades. Also included are studies of a Great Lakes fisheries trust and land trusts in New England and California. Taken together these case studies show an uneven record for conservation trusts. As Fairfax and Guenzler demonstrate, the most successful trusts have clear legal and organizational arrangements and are most successful when conservation goals can blend with local politics and land use preferences. What should the legal arrangements be? How much “management density” is necessary? How can a trust balance income generation with conservation practices? How can they assure accountability? Should land use restrictions in perpetuity, such as fire restrictions or motorized vehicle limits, be specified in trust documents? Anyone looking for practical advice about setting up a conservation trust will find these case studies most valuable. (Text adapted from an H-Net review by Tim Lehman).)