Voluntary, permanent land protection is a key conservation process in many coun-tries. Concerns with the effectiveness of such decentralized processes exist due tothe potential for (1) selection bias, that is, the protection of parcels whose land coverwould have been conserved in the absence of protection, and (2) local spill

As global efforts to protect ecosystems expand, the socioeconomic impact of protected areas on neighboring human communities continues to be a source of intense debate. The debate persists because previous studies do not directly measure socioeconomic outcomes and do not use appropriate comparison groups to account for potential confounders.