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Land & Biodiversity

Biodiversity Conservation Projects

  • Conservation Thresholds: In 2007 we held a symposium at Wingspread, bringing together the nation’s leading conservation scientists and leaders in the land use planning profession to determine the ways in which conservation science could be more effectively integrated into land use decisions. The symposium built upon a series of new papers, published by ELI as Lasting Landscapes: Reflections on the Role of Conservation Science in Land Use Planning (2007) and ELI’s Conservation Thresholds for Land Use Planners (2003). Click here for more information.
  • Wildlife and Utilities: ELI is working to identify opportunities to link utility infrastructure planning and management with conservation of wildlife through use of state wildlife action plans. The Wildlife & Utilities project included a 2007 workshop for utility associations and a state-focused research program that led to the publication State Wildlife Action Plans and Utilities: New Conservation Opportunities for America’s Wildlife (2007). Click here to listen to ELI Senior Attorney James McElfish discuss this topic in a radio interview with the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.
  • Mitigation Opportunities for Wildlife: ELI is evaluating the extent to which existing regulatory programs for mitigation of environmental impacts afford opportunities to implement state wildlife action plans.
  • Integrating Wildlife Values into Local Decisions: ELI is assessing the capacity of U.S. State and Local Policies to sustain biodiversity through a series of case studies to identify high-value opportunities to integrate state wildlife action plan implementation into land planning decisions, land development decisions, and infrastructure programs , under a program sponsored by the National Council for Science the Environment.
  • Habitat Banking: ELI, in collaboration with Environmental Defense, is evaluating the experience of habitat banking across the U.S., and its potential utility for wildlife conservation and restoration and implementation of wildlife action plans.
  • Open Space & Biodiversity: In 2007, ELI released The Nature of Open Space: Linking Land Protection and Land Conservation, a report of state open space programs’ authorities to prioritize land protection for wildlife and biodiversity. The study, which examines 28 state programs in 21 states, concludes that there are significant opportunities for state open space programs to more effectively target their funding to support biodiversity conservation. Click herefor more information.
  • Biodiversity & Land Use: From 2001-2004 ELI worked in collaboration with NatureServe, Island Press, and Defenders of Wildlife to identify ways of linking conservation of biodiversity with land use decisions. The Consortium on Biodiversity and Land Use produced numerous projects, collected as part of the Nature-Friendly Toolkit.
  • In 2004, ELI published Nature-Friendly Ordinances: Local Measures for Biodiversity, a compilation of model laws and ordinances that integrate biological principles and information into land use planning, zoning, and infrastructure decisions.
  • In 2003, ELI published Planning for Biodiversity: Authorities in State Land Use Laws. The report was prepared in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife and is the first to examine the land use planning enabling and growth management laws in each of the 50 states.
  • In 2003, ELI published Planning with Nature: Biodiversity Information in Action. Working in partnership with NatureServe, ELI conducted research to assess when and where the use of biological information is required or authorized by state or local laws or policies.

For individual ELI State Biodiversity studies and reports see the Land & Biodiversity Publications page.