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Conserving Ecosystems Locally: A Role for Ecologists in Land-Use Planning

American Institute of Biological Sciences
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Ecology


Abstract Integration of ecological principles into private land-use planning is critical to preservation of biodiversity and functional ecosystems in the United States. Ecologists need to play an active role in shaping land-use decisions to meet those goals. Four areas of action for ecologists are (1) educating members of the staff, planning board, and governing body involved in land-use decisions; (2) serving on a planning commission or governing body; (3) commenting at public hearings; and (4) participating in citizen review panels for land-use laws and policies. The most effective measures will be those that integrate ecological principles into arguments based on the existing standards for comprehensive planning and subdivision review.

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