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State-Held Agricultural Preservation Restrictions

Sheltering Public Interests in Private Property


To protect fast-disappearing land resources, public entities have employed a wide variety of conversation strategies. Given the shortcomings of conventional command-and-control regulation, market-based solutions have risen in favor as a means of alleviating development pressures. Nonetheless, the success of these strategies ultimately depends on a number of extrinsic and intrinsic factors, as suggested by the recent challenge of an agricultural easement program in New Hampshire. This dispute as well as analogous actions decided by state and federal courts illustrate some of the strengths and weaknesses of these types of conservation policies. While powers wielded by public entities under these programs stands on firm legal ground, public support and political commitments provide less stable footing for the enforcement and implementation of these policies.

Pay, Geoffrey. "State-Held Agricultural Preservation Restrictions: Sheltering Public Interests in Private Property." The Back Forty. May/June 1997: 1-5. Print.