ment by users to landowners for access, or payments
from government units to landowners in exchange
for adopting measures to enhance habitat and make
it available to others. The Farm Act of 1985, for example, contains several provisions that may indirectly
benefit wildlife. The most important of these is the
Conservation Reserve, designed to remove the most
erodible land from crop production. If successful, the
Conservation Reserve is projected eventually to return 40 million to 45 million acres of vulnerable cropland to grassland and forest. Additional wildlife benefits
may result from the "sodbuster" and "swampbuster"
provisions (see chapter 5), which deny agricultural
subsidies to farms that convert wetlands and highly
erodible land to croplands.
In addition, nearly half the states now have programs to encourage wildlife habitat and public access
to it on private land. State initiatives run the gamut
from liability limitations to purchase of development
rights to direct cash subsidies. Despite the enormous
variety, these programs all have one thing in common:
they attempt to give private landowners an incentive
to provide wildlife services. Whether the incentives
provided are appropriate to the purpose or sufficient
to achieve it is stiff to be determined.
These state provisions might best be regarded as
experiments in wildlife policy. If successful, they offer
the prospect of allowing landowners to treat wildlife
resources comparably with other products of the land.
Private incentives may be the best hope of simultaneously protecting wildlife habitat while also preserving public access to wildlife resources.
The outstanding research assistance of Caroline Harnett and Sari
Radin is gratefully acknowledged.
If the actual trends in bird populations were stable, then the
expected number of statistically significant observations of increasing trends, on the basis of chance alone, is 25 (at a 5-percent
level of significance). The standard deviation on the number of
increasing trends is about 5.1. Likewise, another 25 in expectation
would show a significant decreasing trend, with standard deviation
also of 5. 1. Because the number of observations of significantly
increasing (decreasing) trends is 8 (4) standard deviations more
than what would have been observed by chance, it can be concluded that there truly are some species enjoying increasing trends,
and some suffering decreasing ones.
The 1978 amendments mandated use of this procedure (which
involved review of the case by an Endangered Species Committee
of high-ranking officials of the federal government and the governments of the states involved) in two cases, one of which was
the Tellico Dam case. In this case the committee ruled against
allowing an exemption, largely on the basis of a benefit-cost analysis
that could not find an economic justification for the dam's completion even though most of the costs were already incurred. Congress subsequently overrode this decision by enacting legislation
authorizing the construction of the Tellico Dam specifically. The
final chapter of the Tellico story came several years later, when
snail darter populations were found on stream reaches other than
that affected by the Tellico Dam.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: America's Renewable Resources:Historical Trends and Current Challenges.
Contributors: Kenneth D. Frederick - Editor, Roger A. Sedjo - Editor.
Publisher: Resources for the Future.
Place of publication: Washington, DC.
Publication year: 1991.
Page number: 241.
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