Risk to Maintenance-Dependent Species from Orthodoxy in Species-Based Land-Use Regulation

In this master’s thesis, I theorize and offer some evidence that humans inadvertently risk exacerbating the loss of maintenance-dependent species on private land by using species-based land-use regulation to seek other benefits. Drawing evidence primarily from the US (including works concerning oak- and upland prairie-associated species in Oregon and Washington), I argue that such regulation poses a risk to maintenance-dependent species, that humans routinely disregard this risk, and that this disregard widely serves to defend the power of individuals and organizations to use such regulation to seek other benefits. I suggest this implies that with constraints on public funding, humans might improve the survival of some species by clarifying the purpose of such regulation and considering openly refraining from such regulation for some species. I also suggest such change might depend on articulating the issue as whether the survival of a species could ever depend on individuals having a right to conserve or maintain it without selectively incurring harm from regulation intended to save it.