Voluntary conservation programs are an effective tool for recognizing and preserving the value of special places on private forestlands. We evaluate private landowner participation in the Natural Heritage Program of North Carolina, finding that landowners are more likely to enroll land with high ecological significance in this voluntary program. Voluntary conservation is less likely on lands that are remote from threats such as roads, that have higher value in other uses, and that are near lands already conserved by the public.
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North Carolina's natural heritage program: A case for public-private cooperation