Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1930446
 


 



Toward a More Multi-Functional Rural Landscape: Community Approaches to Rural Land Stewardship


Anthony B. Schutz


University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law

September 2, 2011

Fordham Environmental Law Review, Vol. 22, p. 633, 2011

Abstract:     
This Article discusses how farms and ranches can adapt to meet consumer demand for outdoor activities like hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, or simply enjoying the solace of spending time in rural places. These places hold breathtaking landscapes, but they are often privately owned, relatively inaccessible to the general public, and have not been managed to produce the ecosystem services that support these activities, despite strong evidence of consumer demand. Historically, farms and ranches have been managed for a single dominant use, undertaken wholly upon an individualā€™s landholdings. Entering the emerging market for nature-based experiences requires that farms and ranches adapt from fragmented single-use businesses to multi-functional enterprises that cooperatively operate at larger spatial scales.

This Article explains how lawyers can help farmers and ranchers make such a move. It uses existing private law and Ostrom's principles of collective action to illustrate how these communities should be designed. It also offers some preliminary thoughts on possible areas for legal reform that would facilitate the development of these enterprises.

It also explores the relationships these enterprises have with the emerging local-food movement. As with traditional producers, the multi-functionality these institutions bring to individual farmers can be used as a diversification strategy for local-food producers. The income from these activities, in turn, helps stem the environmental consequences of using land for food production. In addition, the communities that may emerge within the foodshed and those that may emerge to support nature-based entrepreneurship are complimentary. Each may foster, and profit from, the sort of communitarian thinking that is necessary to the other, resulting in a more multi-functional and sustainable rural landscape.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

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Date posted: September 19, 2011 ; Last revised: November 8, 2011

Suggested Citation

Schutz, Anthony B., Toward a More Multi-Functional Rural Landscape: Community Approaches to Rural Land Stewardship (September 2, 2011). Fordham Environmental Law Review, Vol. 22, p. 633, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1930446

Contact Information

Anthony B. Schutz (Contact Author)
University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law ( email )
103 McCollum Hall
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
United States
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