421 w4 - What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States?...

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What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States? Prepared for presentation to the Idaho State Land Board 1) Introduction: How land-use changed in the past 25 years and how State and Federal policies have influenced this change. a) Our national level model allows us to estimate the impacts of land-use decisions of federal policies. b) The model and simulations suggests the direction of impacts and relative importance of different factors affecting national land use. c) Our results have implications for a number of policy issues related to land use. d) Existing models are limited in the variables that they take into effect. What is unique about this study is the broad range of land uses that our considered and included in the model. e) Research indicates that, in total, federal farm programs resulted in a modest decline in U.S. cropland area. These have far-reaching environmental effects and, as we will demonstrate, will make major shifts in public policy necessary in the near future. 2) Explanation of the Econometric Land-Use Model a) For our analysis, our landowner is risk-neutral and has no control over prices. We further assume that the landowner seeks to maximize their net benefits from the land and base their future decisions on historic values of their land. b) Data for this study was acquired from the National Resource Inventory (NRI) of the U.S. National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). c) By analyzing the following scenarios we can observe the effectiveness of different public policy changes on the various types of land-use. 3) Effectiveness of Public Policy on Land-Use Changes a) Private land use has been significantly influenced by land quality and anticipated economic conditions. However, in some cases public policy has had a significant influence. b) Cropland impacts I. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the federal farm payment are in direct competition with each other in providing incentives to land owners. By scaling back the efforts of both these agencies, the effect would be a very similar dissemination of acreage with a large reduction in the cost of both programs. Potentially saving millions of taxpayer dollars.
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421 w4 - What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States?...

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