'Disposing of Lands': The Importance of the Land Ordinance of 1785 to Current Forest Fragmentation

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"This paper aims to lay the foundation for future work towards an understanding of the complex set of influences on land ownership and parcelization through an analysis of the Land Ordinance of 1785. To accomplish this goal, the paper will begin with a description of the importance of forest fragmentation and its relationship to land ownership patterns. Where a concrete example is helpful, the case of Indiana will be used. This will be followed by a discussion of the nature of forest as a complex good and the ways in which this can and has been misunderstood. An institutional analysis of the action arena delineated by the Land Ordinance of 1785 will then be undertaken using the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The paper will conclude with a discussion of how those rules laid out (and those not laid out) by the Ordinance have given rise to current forest fragmentation issues."



fragmentation, land tenure and use, forests, institutional analysis--IAD framework, governance and politics