International Journal of Financial Management and Economics
Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2021)
A early successional forest management for biodiversity conservation on private lands as a coupled human and natural system
Dr. R Seenivasan
Facilitating voluntary conservation on private lands is a crucial element of policies that seek to mitigate forest habitat loss and fragmentation around the world. Previous research emphasizes the role of social factors (e.g., landowner characteristics, economics) in forest management, but environmental outcomes of past management can also affect landowner decisions. Our objective was to evaluate how positive outcomes for wildlife and habitat might reinforce or amplify landowner efforts to manage forest habitats. Conservation science addresses the complementary goals of preventing future biodiversity loss while sustaining critical human foundations. In this paper we use two case studies focused on land management to discuss how private lands conservation can be more effective by considering how planning and decision making reflects a coupled human and natural system (CHANS). The first case study focuses on conservation easements in the temperate forests of eastern United States; the second focuses on conservation opportunities in Midwestern agro ecosystems, in particular the value of agro forestry. For each case study we discuss the natural and human subsystems, how elements and interactions within and between subsystems (as organized by elements of CHANS) create challenges and opportunities for conservation, and the importance of considering relevant scales of subsystems. Review of these case studies demonstrates that additional insight gained by using a CHANS perspective, particularly given how the subsystems interact at different scales, improves identification of important points of social and ecological overlap, ultimately enhancing conservation research, planning, and practice. Our findings give insight into how private landowners respond to environmental effects of forest management. We conclude that positive environmental outcomes of these conservation programs are related to continued early successional forest conservation by private landowners.