2024 journal article

Land Fragmentation and Heirs Property: Current Issues and Policy Responses


Source: ORCID
Added: April 8, 2024

Land fragmentation continues to be a challenge throughout the world, the United States, and particularly in the rapidly growing Southeast, as well as every state with a metropolitan area that abuts rural lands. With a United States population expected to grow to more than 500 million by 2060, it will present exceptional challenges for planners and policy makers to preserve important agricultural lands for farms and forests to provide both food and fiber, as well as to provide a host of ecosystem services and enhance the quality of life for our growing population. These issues of fragmentation are extremely substantial for African American, other minority, and limited-income landowners in the U.S. South, who often lack wills and have lands that are broken up into small parcels, or have divided ownership rights in one parcel, when passed on to heirs. Existing efforts can be expanded to provide tools and incentives for the owners of hiers property and other working lands to preserve them, and state and municipal planners will need to promote development plans and practices thoughtfully and strategically in order to prevent the projected loss of nearly 18 million acres of working lands by the year 2040.