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Paying for Environmental Services from Agricultural Lands: An Example from the Northern Everglades

Patrick J. Bohlen, Sarah Lynch, Leonard Shabman, Mark Clark, Sanjay Shukla and Hilary Swain
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Vol. 7, No. 1, The Role of Ecosystem Services in Conservation and Resource Management (Feb., 2009), pp. 46-55
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25595037
Page Count: 10
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Abstract

There is growing interest in implementing market-like programs that would pay farmers and ranchers for producing environmental services (beyond those that generate food and fiber) from working agricultural lands. However, few examples exist of programs that pay directly for quantified services. Since 2005, a coalition of non-governmental environmental organizations, state and federal agencies, ranchers, and researchers has been developing a Pay-for-Environmental Services (PES) program that would compensate cattle ranchers in Florida's northern Everglades region for providing water storage and nutrient retention on private lands. We use our experience with this program to identify key challenges to PES program design, including identifying a buyer and defining the environmental services; agreeing upon credible, yet practical, approaches to quantifying the services provided; reducing programmatic costs in light of existing policies and complex regulatory issues; and maintaining an adaptive approach to program design and implementation, while satisfying the concerns of multiple stakeholders.

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