carving out some space - pg 10-13

carving out some space - pg 10-13 - SUMMER 1999 ISSUE 136...

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8 3 RESOURCES FOR THE FUTURE RESEARCH THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE SUMMER 1999 ISSUE 136 14 FROM THE PRESIDENT 2 INSIDE RFF 18 DEVELOPMENT 19 10 Goings On Climate science update Emissions trading evolution Marion Clawson tribute Timber sales testimony Thai dam, teak forest Gas price, gas use Time and Money Discounting’s Problematic Allure Paul R. Portney A new RFF book reveals what is appealing—and worrisome—about applying the technique of discounting to problem-solving measures that won’t bear fruit until far into the future. FEATURE Carving Out Some Space A Guide to Land Preservation Strategies James Boyd, Kathryn Caballero, and R. David Simpson The more we experiment with legal tools to conserve habitat, the more we will save. Conservation easements are popular enough to study as examples of how such tools work and how they might be improved. FEATURE Saving the Trees by Helping the Poor A Look at Small Producers along Brazil’s Transamazon Highway Charles Wood and Robert Walker Interviews with hundreds of poor farmers add testimony to theory: Property rights do lead to tropical forest conservation. These rights should include protection from contagious fires set for agricultural purposes.
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T his latest issue of Resources illustrates the temporal sweep of RFF’s work. On page 8, readers will find a story about the new RFF book Discounting and Intergenerational Equity . Though my name appears as the byline on the story and as co-editor of the book, it’s the contributions of others that make the book exciting. What you’ll find are the musings of some of the world’s foremost econo- mists—including two former Nobel prize winners and several good bets for future awards—on a decisionmaking technique called discounting. This tech- nique makes it possible to compare costs and benefits that won’t be realized for hundreds of years with those we will experience tomorrow. Urban sprawl and habitat disruption are making headlines and animating campaign speeches today. Underlying the rhetoric are important questions about land use. One of the most important of these is: How can we protect key parcels of land as inexpensively as possible? Of course, the answer depends on getting down to specifics, such as those set out in the two features in this issue. Jim Boyd, Kathryn Caballero, and David Simpson give us a guide to the legal instruments still evolving for land preservation. Balance is the challenge that these researchers see, while the cardinal rule is first to recognize that fore- gone development always costs somebody something. The key to conservation, then, is to make conservation worth somebody’s while by using market-based incentives, such as the easements the authors zero in on here. Meanwhile on another continent, the struggle is starker and the strategies
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carving out some space - pg 10-13 - SUMMER 1999 ISSUE 136...

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