Habitat conservation in agricultural landscapes has a long history in Canada and the United States. Two prominent policy tools utilized by both government and private conservation agencies are fee simple acquisitions and conservation easements to conserve habitat. Both conservation mechanisms are subject to many design and implementation challenges related to the private ownership of agricultural land. In this chapter, we focus on economic aspects of habitat conservation in agricultural landscapes in Canada and the U.S. We discuss the history of conservation programs in the two countries and survey the prior design and evaluation literatures. We conclude with a discussion of the current challenges and opportunities that newly available data sources present.

JEL classifications: Q15, Q20