In many areas of the world, large percentages of the land are in the hands of private owners.
In countries like the United States, where government involvement in the management of private lands is strictly limited, conservation efforts must involve the local landowners if species and habitats are to be managed at all. Finding incentives and mechanisms that bring landowners into the process of planning and implementing conservation strategies is crucial to this effort. Organizations such as the Mal-pai Borderlands Group—a collection of landowners, scientists, and other stakeholders dedicated to maintaining the health of a million-acre region in southern Arizona and New Mexico—are leading the way in this effort. Other important initiatives on this front include the development of so-called safe harbor agreements between governments and landowners that promote current conservation efforts on private lands and ensure landowners' future options for developing their land.
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