5 Proven Ways to Preserve Open Space

What is your county doing to preserve open spaces important to your community? And is it effective? If the answers to those questions are "not enough" and "no", read on and take these effective strategies to your lawmakers.

"Local land use issues are often the catalyst for getting new people involved in environmental issues. When a community confronts the prospect of losing a nearby forest or farm to development, it often produces a new generation of conservationists interested not only in the view, but in larger environmental issues. And in an era when concerns about global warming are paramount, preserving wild land and stopping the tide of suburban sprawl are important parts of long-term sustainability initiatives."

"The Trust for Public Land and the National Association of Counties recognized five initiatives that worked to preserve open space like farmland, forests and ridges that are important to local communities concerned about sprawl, water quality and wildlife habitat."

"Counties are the level of government that, more and more, are leading the charge to protect open space, according to leaders of the two organizations. With state and federal budgets strapped, and local governments typically unable to marshal the money needed to buy land or conservation easements, that is likely to continue to be the case."

"Since 1996, 151 counties have prioritized land conservation with new or reconsidered conservation programs. In that time these counties have passed 260 ballot measures, generating $14.3 billion for open space, parks, watersheds, recreational lands and wildlife preserves. Over 77 percent of all county conservation ballot measures in the last decade have won voter approval."

"'We can react to pressures like development, or be thoughtful in our responses,' said Will Rogers, TPL President. 'Local conservation programs can help our communities shape thoughtful growth. This year's winners are being recognized for their commitment to creating healthy, livable places.'"

Thanks to Matt Shaffer

Full Story: 5 Proven Ways to Preserve Open Space

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