The Future of Public Trust

The legal status of the Public Trust Doctrine
John Organ and Shane Mahoney

An 1842 U.S. Supreme Court case resulted in the Public Trust Doctrine. The ruling denied a landowner’s claim to exclude all others from taking oysters from particular mudflats in New Jersey. An 1842 U.S. Supreme Court case resulted in the Public Trust Doctrine. The current status of the Public Trust Doctrine puts public rights, property law, and the very notion of the "commons" at loggerheads with private property rights and the quest for profit derived from wildlife, whether personal, corporate, or even communal.

Future Challenges to the Model

Why Collapse is Possible and Alteration Inevitable
Shane P. Mahoney and David Cobb

The philosophy, institutions, policies, and laws that collectively govern wildilfe conservation in North America have become recognized as the North American Model. It has led to the recovery of many wildlife species at a continental scale, generated a diverse economy, and enriched society by sustaining wildlife and habitats. However, what may arguably be the world's best experiment in conservation is not invulnerable. It is at risk and its collapse is possible.

Born in the Hands of Hunters

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation
John F. Organ, Shane P. Mahoney, and Valerius Geist

Wildlife conservation in the United States and Canada has evolved over the last century and a half to acquire a form distinct from that of any other nation in the world. It's a conservation approach with iron at its core - sparked by the over-exploitation of wildlife, then crafted by hunters and anglers striving to save the resources their predecessors had nearly destroyed. Now a series of principles collectively known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, it helps sustain not only traditional game species but all wildlife and their habitats across the continent.