Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Joel Heinen

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Jay Sah

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Pallab Mozumder

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Date of Defense



The Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) of Michigan is a contemporary land trust organization. A case study of LTC identified the accomplishments and challenges of LTC as well as criteria for successful land conservation. Research emphasizes knowledge gaps in effective conservation efforts. An applied research protocol to improve ecological and socio-political knowledge about the workings of LTC and, by corollary, other similar land trusts is recommended.

Key informant interviews (n=33) were conducted with LTC stakeholders. The objective of these interviews was to understand the perceptions and motivations of LTC stakeholders and more broadly, of small-scale land conservation. Findings show that social motivators including a sense of environmental ethic and responsibility for future generations were among the most highly discussed topics among stakeholders. The study provides a case for the importance of social science research in land conservation and land use analyses.





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