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The purchase of open spaces and conversion to natural area systems was a response to the growing infringement of suburban development and ranch conversion of landscapes that are causing losses in biological diversity and agricultural production. While the purpose of such purchases is recommendable, there is much to be resolved regarding the wisdom of conserving against the opportunity of gaining profits from converting the property into prime lots.
The economic implications should be apparent. Protection of these spaces leads to the conservation of scenic landscapes ideal for outdoor recreation especially in this period where people are finding ways to escape the city life. The presence of wildlife presents a more interesting experience for the individual and may make him willing to pay a fee for access to such open spaces. Open spaces then presents an opportunity to gain revenue thru small fees charged from campers and hikers.
One might argue that open spaces would generate little revenue which does not justify the amount used to purchase. Ranches and lands for suburban developments do not come cheap. While it is recognized that the amount of purchase can indeed be large, it should also be noted that revenue generation of open spaces is not confined to access fees and the like. Open and natural areas can have multiple uses-benefits. While providing scenic views, the area can have some of its portions available for sustainable livestock foraging. Revenue can be generated by renting pasture for livestock grazing and presents opportunity for livestock producers who have little capital to own ranches for themselves. ...
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