Evaluating conservation easement and land records data in rapidly growing counties in the United States and the implications for environmental governance

Anna Treado Overby*, Caitlin S. Dyckman, Scott Ogletree, Nakisha Fouch, Mickey Lauria, David L. White, Robert F. Baldwin, Katherine Amidon, Daniel Crum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the US, land records are fragmented and difficult to assemble. This paper details issues of access to land records from traditional land record institutions within US counties, focusing on conservation easements (CEs), CE geospatial data, and tax-assessment data. This paper also explores the issue of privacy related to CE land records and land trusts, the primary type of non-profit that holds CEs. Previous literature has cited landowner concerns about privacy as a driving force behind land trust’s hesitancies to share information. However, we find evidence that landowner privacy concerns may be overestimated and more nuanced than previously reported. Additionally, we document widespread issues related to access of CE documents from register of deed’s offices. This paper supports reforms to better track CEs within register of deeds offices and reforms to make land records data more accessible for pluralistic societal needs and to support inclusion in environmental governance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Early online date29 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • conservation easements
  • conservation planning
  • land records
  • land trusts
  • open data
  • private landowners

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating conservation easement and land records data in rapidly growing counties in the United States and the implications for environmental governance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this