Decision-making in land management
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Decision-making in land management book
Secondly, any evaluation on the part of either analysts or land users themselves must demarcate very clearly how the costs and benefits of degradation and conservation are to be accounted. The 'upstreamdownstream' effect is important where either beneficial silt or costly floods or layers of gravel are the benefits or costs from upstream erosion (see also chapter 5A). However, the assumption commonly made that the downstream benefits of erosion usually equal or outrun the costs upstream must be resisted. Even at the level of an individual field, there can be spatial displacements of costs and benefits. It may take the form of removal of soil and nutrients from the top of a field, and their redeposition at the bottom. Land mangement may take the form of physically transferring soil back to the top of the field. At the level of a whole farm, degradation of one part may be offset by enhancement of another. A simple illustration is the removal of leafy matter from woodlots in order to feed livestock which supply manure to the fields. On a local, or subregional scale, soil removed by erosion from a steep hillside may find lodgement on gentler slopes below, where it can more readily be used. However, decision-making with regard to the use
of woodlot and arable land is tied together by the farming household which exercises its choice in both areas and types of land use. In other cases costs and benefits flow to different land users altogether.