Ecosystem Services in Working Lands: US Northeast

The framework of landscape multifunctionality is used in two ways for this assessment of incentive programs that support and encourage producers to deliver ecosystem services on working lands.

First, landscape multifunctionality values the provisioning of ecosystem services that occur within the spatial boundaries of private or public property as well as the regional matrices of land cover types and land management arrangements that exist in the U.S. Northeast. Thus, this outlook considers private landowners (from households to private-sector institutions) and public land owners (from federal, state, or local governments) as interdependent shareholders that manage ecosystem health at and above the scale of an individual property parcel. Table 2 itemizes several differences between land management practices exclusively tailored to an individual parcel and those practicing cross-boundary, multiscalar management (Rickenback et al. 2011). Second, across a landscape, the spatial combination of functions inherently cross institutional boundaries and require “cross -boundary, mul tiscalar management”. This interwoven complexity offers an opportunity to monitor and prioritize the variety of relationships among ecological processes, ecosystem service scope (i.e. what constitutes a service?) and scale (i.e. how to bridge local practices with global challenges, such as climate change mitigation?), and socio-economic functions embedded in the landscape (i.e. food and commodity production, livelihood provisioning, cultural heritage).

Table 2. Comparison of “owner - centric” versus cross -boundary land management models, by Rickenback et al. (2011)


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