A Changing Landscape: The Conservation Easement Reader
Conservation easements are an essential tool for protecting the American landscape. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of acres protected by land trusts grew from 23 million acres to 47 million acres. Conservation easements used by federal, state, and local governments would likely add several million additional acres to this total. Given their widespread use, ongoing innovations, and pressing environmental challenges, the time is ripe to provide a comprehensive review of conservation easements. A Changing Landscape: The Conservation Easement Reader does just that, offering conservationists, academics, government officials, and others a nuanced, multifaceted resource.
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The Conservation Easement Reader is a vital resource at a time when we must maximize the use of conservation easements to protect lands threatened by development, population growth, and climate change. Add it to your library, consult it often.
Harvard University Fellow and President Emeritus of the Land Trust Alliance
The Healthy Watershed Framework: A Blueprint for Restoring Nutrient-Impaired Waterbodies Through Integrated Clean Water Act and Farm Bill Conservation Planning and Implementation at the Subwatershed Level
Jamie Konopacky, Co-author, Environmental Law, vol. 47: 647 (2017)
Current approaches to Clean Water Act and farm bill conservation programming are not effectively addressing agricultural runoff in the United States. Waters in the United States are reeling from the effects of nutrient pollution. Clean Water Act and farm bill policies can be revised and integrated to support a small-scale watershed planning and implementation approach that will more effectively restore nutrient-impaired waterbodies. This Article provides an overview of relevant foundational planning principles and complex problem-solving theories and provides concrete Clean Water Act and farm bill policy recommendations, which are rooted in on-the-ground state and local level policy and project experience.
Losing Ground: A Clarion Call for Farm Bill Reform to Ensure a Food Secure Future
Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 42, No, 1 (2016)
Given its pervasive environmental harm, American agriculture is one of the last horizons of environmental law. The point of this article is not to vilify agricultural producers, but to leverage society's renewed interest in food to create a clear-eyed dialogue regarding how to address these harms while ensuring food security for the nation and economic security for those who produce our food. One of the pillars of this dialogue must be a hard look at the so-called farm safety net and its relationship to our national policy regarding environmental stewardship and agriculture: the conservation title ("Title II") of the Farm Bill.
Unfamiliar to most environmental advocates, the conservation title is a suite of federal programs implemented by the USDA, providing billions of dollars in federal funds to agricultural producers to improve conservation outcomes on agricultural lands. In other words, the American taxpayer largely shoulders the burden of environmental measures on private "working" lands. This Article argues that in order to provide for a food secure future we must renegotiate the Farm Bill's safety net so that it works in concert with conservation policies by supporting production that is both economically and environmentally stable.
Food Security: Concept, Challenges, and the Role of Attorneys
The Environmental Law Reporter, vol. 45, No. 7 (July 2015)
Feeding a growing global population, estimated to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, in a changing climate without destroying our environment is one of humanity’s greatest challenges. Environmental advocates have a central role in addressing this challenge. This Comment provides a brief overview of the concept of food security, starting with its foundation in the internationally recognized right to food. After providing the legal framework, the Comment describes the meta challenges to global food security, with a particular focus on the environment and the role of legal practitioners.
IN THE MEDIA
“There was a time when most Americans didn’t care where their food came from or how it was produced. No longer.”
Congress just gave Big Agriculture the pollution green light
The Hill, op-ed, Mar. 23, 2018
“We can’t avert the real, tragic consequences of global warming without agriculture, so how can we come together and create a new system?”
Laurie Ristino, quoted in How the Farm Bureau’s Climate Agenda Is Failing Its Farmers
Georgina Gustin, Neela Banerjee, John H. Cushman Jr., Inside Climate News, Oct. 24, 2018
Episode 1, Climate Change, Food Production, and the 2018 Farm Bill
Rob Verchick Interviews Laurie Ristino, Center for Progressive Reform, ‘Connect the Dots’ Podcasts (2018)