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
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.
REPRESENTATIVE MEDIA APPEARANCES
"[E]nvironmental groups are becoming more engaged in the farm bill because of the enormous environmental impacts of agriculture and the potential of the farm bill to ameliorate some of those harms . . . The question is whether a new coalition emerges that is able to produce a farm bill that better balances limited financial and natural resources against the demand for food and fiber."
Laurie Ristino, providing academic commentary for Jurist Twenty in Changing Coalitions and the 2014 Farm Bill.
"You're definitely not going to get any traction with the term 'climate change.'"
Laurie Ristino, commenting for E&E News on the changes anticipated with the Trump Administration in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.