This report from the Environmental Law Institute examines the role and relative success of 28 open space protection and conservation efforts. It offers guidelines for creating land use plans that allow for development and conservation.
"The conservation of biodiversity supports efforts to ensure the long-term stability of wildlife species and habitats, ecosystems and economies, and public health and welfare. Because the greatest threats to wildlife and biodiversity in the United States are habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation, purchasing land outright or protecting it through the acquisition of a conservation easement ensures the protection of lands important for habitat. However, which lands are conserved-and in what pattern they are conserved-is equally important for maintaining habitat connectivity and minimizing the corrosive effects of habitat fragmentation. Prioritizing lands for acquisition maximizes the conservation benefit of each dollar spent."
"The momentum surrounding biodiversity and wildlife conservation continues to grow nationwide and planning efforts such as the State Wildlife Action Plans have thrust the concept of prioritization and planning further into the spotlight. Open space programs may capitalize on this increasing awareness by seeking to codify the prioritization of lands for their wildlife and biodiversity value."
Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP