Related to the topic of land rents, last month the Obama administration proclaimed nearly a half-million acres of land in south-central New Mexico as a national monument. The area is called the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and will managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the US system of national conservation lands.
Read about it here at the Whitehouse.gov
Here is an editorial on the topic in the Tampa Tribune that also appeared in today's Wilmington paper
Related to topics this week, today, the Obama administration will announce the creation of the world's largest marine sanctuary. The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will protect 782,000 square miles (for perspective, that's about 3 times the size of Texas) from all human activity.
Read about it here at the Washington Post
Note that all 3 stories cite economic value as a benefit of conservation!