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With over 1,200 organizations registered with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA 2021), land trusts are often viewed as successful models of market-based solutions to environmental and social problems. Yet, the role of these organizations in making open space and farmland accessible to groups from marginalized backgrounds remains unclear. This report (No. 1) discusses findings from interviews conducted in 2021 with key experts at 15 land trusts in New England. The goal of the research was to understand organizational engagement with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values, with a special emphasis on how land trusts facilitate access to land for underrepresented groups. Interviewees and organizations are referred to using pseudonyms throughout the report.

This report comes from a larger study investigating inequality and environmental justice in the context of farm and open space conservation. Distributional Impacts of Farm and Open Space Conservation is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (NIFA Award No. 2018-67024-27695). Principal investigator is Corey Lang in the Department of Environmental & Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island, with coinvestigator Amy Ando in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, and co-investigator Julie C. Keller in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of Rhode Island.