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Don McLeod Current Projects/Grants

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Don McLeod - Current and Recent Projects

October, 2014

I have undertaken several multi-faceted land use projects. The first concerns future uses and community preferences for rural land use in Wyoming and Colorado. This involves visioning activities as well as surveying of a large sample of county landowners and/or residents. The survey instruments have been administered and results offered in several bulletins and journal articles (please see current CV). The survey outcomes cover what citizens like and dislike about development in their county as well as what they would be willing to do or have done to prevent damages and enhance benefits of land use.

Another project involves use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to develop valued attributes of a statewide land valuation (hedonic price) model. Several iterations of model estimation include valuing rural lands based on the productive as well as environmental amenity attributes (please see current CV). The most recent effort assigns property price bonuses or penalties based on the extent a land attribute is present.
A third project considers the attributes of conservation easements that do, or do not, appeal to landowners and land trusts (please see current CV). This work utilizes a stated choice framework to determine what both landowners (sellers) and land trust (brokers and buyers) prefer when it comes to transacting a conservation easement arrangement.


Lastly efforts are ongoing to assess the Cost of Development as it may pertain to the need for additional infrastructure and services that rural counties must bear due to changes in land use from open space to rural residential development. Several approaches to estimating the cost of ex-urban sprawl are undertaken (please see current CV). One avenue is the extent to which residential development patterns affect the provision of public safety and the cost of law enforcement in Albany and recently Laramie counties.


All projects are funded by USDA’s National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program for Rural Development and Markets and Trade or the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative plus College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Agricultural Experiment Station Competitive Grant funds (please see current CV).


Additional work on water resource development and implications for land use as well as the issues associated with in-stream flow has occurred (please see current CV).


I also have undertaken a project examining irrigation practices in the Laramie Plains looking at impacts on local wetlands and downstream wildlife habitat. This effort involves analyzing enterprise budgets to find water savings for Platte River wildlife species needs while understanding the connection between wetlands and flood irrigation in the Laramie Plains. He also has helped to conduct a comparison of Bureau of Land Management recreational use and expenditure data with other sources to understand methods used for collection and to uncover any data anomalies.


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