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Land conservation in NC: the era of the land trusts

April 6, 2015

North Carolina had a remarkable period of land conservation between the late 1980s and the early 2000s.  For a nation that gets portrayed typically as single-mindedly obsessed with economic growth and (sadly, often tawdry) development, it’s worth reflecting on the accomplishments of those who have worked hard to keep unique natural places in the State protected.  In particular, I want to single out the state’s land trusts, their funders and the private landowners they work with for their successes in the late twentieth century and beyond.  In the year 2000, in the last administration of Gov. Jim Hunt, the State even committed to protection of an additional one million acres of permanently protected land by the year 2010–the so-called “Million Acres Initiative.”

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What is environmental law? on fuzzy boundaries

February 23, 2015

Some fields of law have fairly clear boundaries. Not so with environmental law. In order to say anything with the least bit of clarity about the field of environmental law as such, you need some sense of what does and doesn’t count as part of the field. I have a simple model of what counts, for my own purposes. In this entry, I will explain my model of the field, and also talk about some of the limitations and unresolved boundary issues with my model. It starts with a recognition that law has long been concerned with two related things, natural resources and waste.

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