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    Forests provide a variety of critical services to human societies, including carbon sequestration, water purification, and habitat for millions of species. Because landowners have traditionally not been paid for the services their land provides to society, financial incentives are usually too low to sustain production of services at optimal levels. To remedy this, a variety of public and private schemes to provide direct payments to landowners have emerged as a strategy to preserve, protect, and restore these ecosystem services.

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    Mercer, D Evan; Cooley, David; Hamilton, Katherine. 2011. Taking stock: payments for forest ecosystem services in the United States. Ecosystem Marketplace 1-49.

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