Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Great Plains Research 20 (Spring 2010): 9-16


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Like many parts of the world, the Northern Great Plains faces immense challenges to sustainable land use. Privately owned conservation areas have emerged as a potential solution. This article reviews five global trends in so-called private protected areas and discusses their implications for the Northern Great Plains. The trends point to five recommendations to the Northern Great Plains community: (1) act now to tap rapidly growing policy support; (2) combine many models, including private protected areas that are owned by individuals and groups, formal and informal, large and small, and are dedicated to strict protection as well as sustainable use; (3) cultivate diverse revenue streams with emphasis on carbon payments, hunting, and tourism; (4) connect spatially through private-public or private-private partnerships to generate both ecological and economic benefits; and (5) cultivate a reputation for delivering high-quality products and services. The trends and recommendations should be of interest wherever landowners, policy makers, academics, and others seek to integrate economics with ecology in the Northern Great Plains.