Human Ecology

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 103–114 | Cite as

Landscape-Scale Prioritization Process for Private Land Conservation in Alberta

  • Sean Ryan
  • Lorelei Hanson
  • Mike Gismondi


There are 12 conservation land trust organizations (CLTOs) in the province of Alberta, Canada that actively steward land. Together they have protected over 1.09 million hectares of land. Using in-depth interview data with published documents on CLTOs, this paper examines how CLTOs make decisions as to which projects to pursue and the kinds of justifications they offer for the projects they have completed. We identify 13 aspects that such a decision-making process should contain. The CLTOs studied have, to some degree, incorporated 7 of them. The remaining 6 aspects could easily be contributing substantially to some of the main the challenges identified in both the literature and our own research regarding private land conservation. Consequently, we recommend developing a robust landscape-scale approach to private land conservation, communicating that approach to all CLTOs, and increasing cooperation among CLTOs and between them and government.


Private land conservation Land trusts Alberta Landscape ecology Conservation 



This project was part of a larger study of land trust applications by the British Columbia-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2006–2012). The authors would also like to thank the interviewees, who shared their time and their thoughts with us on land conservation issues in Alberta.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Athabasca UniversityAthabascaCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, W1-34 Van Vliet Centre, University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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