Agriculture and Ecosystem Services: Strategies for State and Local Governments
Ruhl, J. B.
Agriculture has long been the Rubik's Cube of environmental policy. Although agriculture is a leading cause of pollution and other environmental harms, it has been resistant to regulation and remarkably successful at requiring payment to do the right thing. This article focuses on hints of movement in a new direction for agriculture, arising out of a merger between the age-old practice of paying farmers to do what is right, the fear of losing agricultural lands to suburban development, the rising fiscal burdens to state and local jurisdictions presented by new suburban development, and the new understanding that farms may hold tremendous untapped value as providers of ecosystem services to local, regional, and national communities.