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As 2016’s national election made clear, striking ideological differences between cities and their surrounding states exist in many parts of the country. One way in which this divide manifests itself is in state governments passing laws with the sole purpose of outlawing particular local conduct. For instance, recent state legislation has prohibited local governments from establishing a minimum wage, from prohibiting the use of plastic bags, and from protecting the rights of transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their identified gender.
Farmland preservation has become an important pursuit for those seeking to protect the working landscape against conversion to nonagricultural use. One of the most common approaches for securing this protection is through the targeted use of agricultural conservation easements, typically perpetual land- use agreements designed to limit incompatible activities in order to preserve future agricultural viability.
In the forty-four years since President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act (ESA), states have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of meaningful opportunities for involvement in the Act’s implementation. This frustration has led to a national discussion on ESA reform, a Republican priority supported by the bipartisan Western Governors’ Association and others. The frustration stems from being relegated to a post-listing back seat, despite state primacy in the management of imperiled species prior to a listing as threatened or endangered under the ESA.