new england: land conservation to promote employment
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New England: Land Conservation to Promote Employment

In New England, most land is owned privately but research shows that conservation of land promotes employment. Conservation of land from development offers numerous social and ecological benefits. Most people say that land conservation can support local economies. It promotes tourism and recreation, sustainable resources. It fascinates new residents and businesses. Some of them worry that land conservation might inhibit economic growth by constraining local resources or building opportunities.

Since 1990, more than 5 Mn acres of land was protected in the six states of New England.  It includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This created a unique natural experiment in conservation. Researchers have studied the New England region in depth. Quasi-experimental methods were developed to evaluate conservation initiatives globally. Recently, it was examined that land protection affected key economic indicators for the 1,500 towns and cities in the region. It was observed that from 1990 to 2015, there was an increase in local employment numbers and labor force. This was attributable to land conservation. In these 25 years, employment was promoted without reducing new housing permits.

Land conservation in New England is a community effort. It has involved thousands of individuals, numerous towns, cities, state and federal agencies and around 350 land trusts. For instance, the New England Forestry Foundation, the East Quabbin Land Trust, the Mount Grace Trust, the Trustees of Reservations, and others. Around 20% of new land is acquired by public agencies. The land trusts and private owners have protected around 29% of the land. The remaining land belongs to private timberlands to continue as working forests. Researchers found that higher levels of land conservation led to a large number of employed people, especially in rural areas. Around 1% increase in land conservation led to a 0.03% increase in locally employed people. New England has a thriving tourist industry. Conservation of land helps in increasing the amenity values. This could make towns and cities attractive and desirable places to live. The land conservation provides jobs to encourage the use of sustainable resources. It includes fishing, timber harvests, and maple syrup production. The land conservation and protection of natural resources have strengthened the source of economic growth.

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