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Payments for Ecosystem Services

Payments for Ecosystem Services

Keeping Working Landscapes productive and functioning

(p.275) 14 Payments for Ecosystem Services
Stitching the West Back Together
Gary P. NabhanLaura López-HoffmanHannah GosnellJosh GoldsteinRichard KnightCarrie PresnallLauren GwinDawn ThilmanySusan Charnley
University of Chicago Press

An emerging approach for restoring natural ecosystems is payment for ecosystem services (PES). Two primary means for compensation are embedding the costs of maintaining the services in the price of food and fiber products, and offering financial incentives and rewards to ranchers, farmers, or foresters working to protect, enhance, or restore ecosystem services. Land managers can “bundle” multiple services that occur in a given location to leverage financial support or zoning recommendations. The public has benefitted from PES through such improvements as higher drinking water quality and protected open space. Businesses may fund conservation activities that protect their source materials or promote how their product is produced sustainably. Obstacles to PES are that they can seldom be justified on public lands, and the attempts of one landowner will have less impact than a regional effort. Landscape-scale PES could work if stakeholders share in both the practices and the payments.

Keywords:   payments for ecosystem services, restore ecosystems, protected open space, conservation activities, source materials

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