Conservation easements are the fastest growing private conservation strategy in the United States. However, mechanisms to assess private land conservation as well as their support by the general public are not well understood. This study uses the ecosystem services framework for assessing existing private lands in Idaho and identifies areas for future conservation easements. Using conservation targets of the land trust as a guide for selecting ecosystem services, we (a) mapped the spatial delivery of conservation targets across public and private lands, (b) explored public awareness in terms of social importance and vulnerability, and (c) mapped future priority areas by characterizing conservation bundles. We found that public lands provided the highest levels of conservation targets, and we found no difference in conservation target provision between private areas and conservation easements. The spatial characterization of conservation target bundles identified potential future priority areas for conservation easements, which can guide planning of land trust conservation efforts.
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Quintas-Soriano, Cristina; Gibson, Dainee M.; Brandt, Jodi S.; López-Rodríguez, María D.; Cabello, Javier; Aguilera, Pedro A.; and Castro, Antonio J., "An Interdisciplinary Assessment of Private Conservation Areas in the Western United States" (2021). Human-Environment Systems Research Center Faculty Publications and Presentations. 50.