Exploring the Role of Community-Level Factors in the Adoption of Conservation Easements: A Virginia Case Study
The drivers of individual landowners’ adoption of conservation easements have been well-studied. However, the role and relative predictive power of drivers at the community, rather than individual, scale have not. This study employs diffusion of innovations theory to examine easement adoption in Virginia at the community scale, using geospatial analysis as well as surveys and interviews with easement practitioners. Geospatial modeling results suggest that community-level easement likelihood can be predicted well, but community-level predictors differ from typical individual-level predictors. The literature suggests that easement adopters are typically wealthier, more educated, and less land-dependent. The communities containing easements in our study were generally less wealthy, less educated, and more economically dependent on the land. Data collected from practitioners highlighted the importance of community-scale forces in predicting patterns of easement adoption, including community cohesion, aspects of local land-use planning, and the influence of change agents and opinion leaders.
figshare Academic Research System
Stern, Marc; Sorice, Michael; Prisley, Stephen; Hemby, Tyler (2022), "Exploring the Role of Community-Level Factors in the Adoption of Conservation Easements: A Virginia Case Study", figshare Academic Research System, doi: 10.6084/m9.figshare.19426689.v1