Conservation organizations rely on conservation easements for diverse purposes, including protection of species and natural communities, working forests, and open space. This research investigated how perpetual conservation easements incorporated property rights, responsibilities, and options for change over time in land management. We compared 34 conservation easements held by one federal, three state, and four nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin. They incorporated six mechanisms for ongoing land management decision-making: management plans (74 %), modifications to permitted landowner uses with discretionary consent (65 %), amendment clauses (53 %), easement holder rights to conduct land management (50 %), reference to laws or policies as compliance terms (47 %), and conditional use permits (12 %). Easements with purposes to protect species and natural communities had more ecological monitoring rights, organizational control over land management, and mechanisms for change than easements with general open space purposes. Forestry purposes were associated with mechanisms for change but not necessarily with ecological monitoring rights or organizational control over land management. The Natural Resources Conservation Service-Wetland Reserve Program had a particularly consistent approach with high control over land use and some discretion to modify uses through permits. Conservation staff perceived a need to respond to changing social and ecological conditions but were divided on whether climate change was likely to negatively impact their conservation easements. Many conservation easements involved significant constraints on easement holders options for altering land management to achieve conservation purposes over time. This study suggests the need for greater attention to easement drafting, monitoring, and ongoing decision processes to ensure the public benefits of land conservation in changing landscapes.
Despite multiple lines of evidence suggesting that people with schizophrenia tend to overestimate their ability to perform everyday tasks such as money management, self-report methods are still widely used to assess functioning. In todays technology driven financial world patients are faced with increasingly complex financial management tasks. To meet these challenges adequate financial skills are required. Thus, accurate assessments of these abilities are critical to decisions regarding a patients need for support such as a financial trustee. As part of the larger VALERO study, 195 patients with schizophrenia were asked to self-report their everyday financial skills (five common financial tasks) with the Independent Living Skills Survey (ILSS). They were also assessed with performance-based measures of neuro-cognition and functional capacity with a focus on financial skills. In addition, a friend, relative, or clinician informant was interviewed with the ILSS and a best estimate rating of functioning was generated. Scores on the performance-based measures of financial skills and neuropsychological tests were uncorrelated with self-reported financial activities. Interviewer and all informant judgments of financial abilities were also minimally correlated with performance on functional skill tests. Discrete financial skills appear to be challenging for clinicians to rate with accuracy without the use of direct assessments. Direct assessment of financial skills seems prudent when making determinations about the need for guardianship or other financial supervision.
Determining when multiple predator species provide better pest suppression than single species is a key step towards developing ecologically-informed biological control strategies. Theory and experiments predict that resource partitioning among functionally different predator species can strengthen prey suppression, because as a group they can access more prey types than functionally redundant predators. However, this prediction assumes that competition limits predation by functionally similar predators. Differences in prey density can alter the strength of competition, suggesting that prey abundance may modulate the effect of combining functionally diverse species. The experiment documented here examined the potential for functional differences among predator species to promote suppression of an insect pest, the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), at different prey densities. Predation was compared at two prey densities between microcosms that contained one predator species or two functionally distinct species: the lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata De Geer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) that kills early L. decemlineata instars, and the soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris Say (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) that kills late instars. The data show that combining these predators increased predation only when prey densities were low. This suggests that multiple predator species may only provide greater biological control than single species in systems where prey is limiting.
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