Daniels, Thomas L.
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PublicationLand Preservation in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania: Strategy, Funding, and Cooperation are Key(2005-12-02) Daniels, Thomas L.Land use planning in America has traditionally meant "planning for development." Over the past 25 years, hundreds of communities and several states have recognized the need to preserve land for farming, forestry, watershed protection, wildlife habitat, recreation areas, or open space. A common problem is that public planners have not clearly delineated certain lands for preservation. Meanwhile, non-profit organizations have not fully perceived themselves as land use planning agencies (Wright and Czerniak 2000); and have often pursued a piecemeal and reactive preservation strategy in response to weak local zoning and the swift pace of development (McQueen and McMahon 2003). Thus, in most places in America, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, privately owned open land seems to be at once for sale for development and available for preservation. The competition to preserve or develop land causes considerable friction between developers and land preservationists. Meanwhile, governments have a schizophrenic relationship to land: they want to see it developed so the tax base will increase and the economy will grow, yet they are also active in preserving land. PublicationFarmland Preservation Policies in the United States: Successes and Shortcomings(2004-06-28) Daniels, Thomas L.America's experience with farmland preservation is a combination of modest success and inconsistent farm policies. The successes--in terms of farmland acres preserved--have been concentrated in a relatively small number of counties, mainly in the Northeast and in California (see Sokolow and Zurbrugg, 2003). But nationwide there is a split between the farm income-oriented policies of the US federal government and the land use and growth management policies of state and local governments. Even though the federal government has recently implemented a farmland preservation grant program, land use planning in America is largely controlled by local governments. Getting the local governments-—townships in the Northeast and Midwest, and counties in the rest of the nation--to coordinate their land use planning and farmland preservation efforts has often been a frustrating experience. Targeting federal funds to important agricultural regions has not been fully realized. PublicationIntegrating Forest Carbon Sequestration into a Cap-and-Trade Program to Reduce Net Carbon Emissions(2010-07-30) Daniels, Thomas L.Problem: Most research on planning to mitigate climate change has focused on reducing CO2 emissions from coal-fıred power plants or the transportation sector. The contribution of forests to lowering net CO2 emissions has largely been overlooked. U.S. forests already offset about one eighth of the nation's annual CO2 emissions and have the potential to offset more, all at a relatively low cost. It will not be easy to integrate forest carbon sequestration into a cap-and-trade program to reduce net CO2 emissions, however. Purpose: I explore what forest land use planning, forestry management practices, and land preservation strategies would be required to integrate forest carbon sequestration into a cap-and- trade program, and explain the role planning and planners can play in promoting forest carbon sequestration. Methods: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a 10-state cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fıred power plants in the northeastern United States. It provides a case study of how forest carbon sequestration can be included in a cap-and-trade program. Meanwhile, California has devised certifiable carbon credits from forestland. I analyze both approaches and generalize from them. Results and conclusions: To promote forest carbon sequestration through a cap-and-trade program will require ensuring the permanence of CO2 reductions, minimizing leakage from forestland conversion, and obtaining prices for carbon offsets that are high enough to induce forestland owners to participate in the program and offer them for sale. The capital needed to purchase and monitor permanent forest conservation easements as well as to provide a stream of annual income for timberland owners may require a national system of carbon credits. Ideally, the easements would be set up in advance through investments by government or non-profıts, so that landowners will be ready to sell credits when they are demanded. Takeaway for practice: A cap-and-trade system could be a cost-effective way to lower net CO2 emissions if it included certifiable, trade-able credits from forestland preservation and management, and if the price of carbon credits were high enough to induce forest landowners to offer credits. To promote forest carbon sequestration, planners in rural areas should work with the local, state, and federal governments and non-profıt land trusts to zone forestland at low densities, to preserve forest land through acquiring conservation easements, and to fashion forest management plans that ensure long cycles of timber harvesting. Planners in metropolitan areas should promote tree planting and tree retention ordinances to protect, expand, and manage urban forests to absorb greenhouse gases. PublicationPreserving Large Farming Landscapes: The Case of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania(2017-05-01) Daniels, Thomas L.; Payne-Riley, LaurenPreserving large farming landscapes is one of the main goals of farmland preservation programs. Other goals include protecting highly productive soils, maintaining and enhancing the local farming economy, and promoting locally produced fresh food. Farmland preservation programs take time, however, because of the hefty funding requirements and the detailed process of preserving farmland through the acquisition of conservation easements by purchase or donation. The standard measures of dollars spent and farmland acres preserved do not give an accurate picture of the spatial outcomes of preservation and preservation effectiveness. Three other measures better reflect the spatial effectiveness of farmland preservation: acreage and percentage of preserved farm parcels located in agricultural zones, number and acreage of preserved farm parcels in large contiguous blocks, and number and acreage of preserved farm parcels along growth boundaries. Scattered preserved farms and preserved farms not located in agricultural zones are likely to face more nonfarm development nearby as well as problems with non- farm neighbors. The farmland preservation effort in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, provides an important case study of the pattern of farmland preservation over time. Other counties and land trusts can employ geographic information systems (GIS) methods in this study to monitor and evalu- ate the progress of their farmland preservation efforts. PublicationLand Preservation: An Essential Ingredient in Smart Growth(2005-01-01) Daniels, Thomas L.; Lapping, MarkThe preservation of land for working rural landscapes, wildlife habitat, urban parks, recreational trails, and protecting water supplies and floodplains is emerging as an integral component of smart growth programs. Both the general public and nonprofit organizations have been willing to spend billions of dollars on land preservation because of a perception that traditional land use planning and regulation are not successfully accommodating growth or protecting valuable natural resources. The literature on smart growth has largely overlooked the potential of land preservation to curb sprawl and to foster livable communities. The literature on land preservation has focused on the mechanics of conservation easements and land purchases rather than on how land preservation can fit in the comprehensive planning process to achieve community smart growth goals. More research needs to be done on the strategic use of land preservation in shaping and directing growth as part of a comprehensive planning effort. PublicationReview of Emery N. Castle (editor) The Changing American Countryside: Rural People and Places and Meredith Ramsay, Community Culture and Economic Development: The Social Roots of Local Action(1996-09-01) Daniels, Thomas L.Rural America often seems like an afterthought in our urban-suburban community. Yet rural places make up 97 per cent of the nation's land and are home to one quarter of the population. Since World War II, rural America has undergone profound changes: the relative decline of agriculture, forestry and mining in favor of manufacturing and service industries, the rise of retirement and recreation communities, the construction of elaborate transportation and communication networks, and the invasion of the countryside by expanding suburbia. PublicationFarm Follows Function: In Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Saving Farms Means Keeping a Lid on Growth(2000-01-01) Daniels, Thomas L.When I arrived in Lancaster County, in May of 1989, every acre of land seemed to be for sale. The county's farmland preservation program that I was to head had saved only 5,600 acres, less than one percent of the entire county.