In the absence of innovation in the field of conservation finance, a daunting funding gap faces conservationists aiming to protect America's system of landscapes that provide sustainable resources, water, wildlife habitat, and recreational amenities. Experts estimate that the average annual funding gap will be between $1.9 billion and $7.7 billion over the next forty years. Can the conservation community come up with new methods for financing that will fill this enormous gap? Which human and financial resources will allow us to fund critical land conservation needs? "From Walden to Wall Street" brings together the experience of more than a dozen pioneering conservation finance practitioners to address these crucial issues. Contributors present groundbreaking ideas such as government ballot measures for land conservation, convertible tax-exempt financing, and private equity markets. The creativity and insight of "From Walden to Wall Street" offers considerable hope that, even in this era of widespread financial constraints, the American conservation community's financial resources may potentially grow dramatically in both quantity and quality in the decades to come.
JAMES N. LEVITT is director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest and research fellow at the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.