Land & Biodiversity
ELI's Resources for Community Planners
The Naturally Green Planning Program helps integrate conservation science and land-use planning through publications that identify effective policies and policy reforms and translate science into practical guidelines. The recommendations in our publications are designed to help planners ensure that traditional land-use tools are science-based and reflect conservation principles.
Featured Areas of Expertise and Resources:
- Planner's Guide to Wetland Buffers for Local Governments (2008). Based on ELI's detailed examination of more than 50 enacted wetland buffer ordinances around the nation and several hundred scientific studies and analyses of buffer performance, this report identifies both the state of the art and the range of current practice in protection of wetland buffers by local governments.
- Nature-Friendly Ordinances (2004): This book is designed to help ordinance drafters integrate conservation considerations into their land-use actions. It defines the basic ecological guidelines that should guide land-use decision-making by local governments. It identifies sources of biodiversity information and explains how local governments can tailor familiar types of local land-use regulations to apply the ecological principles. Finally, it provides examples of specific local governments that have deployed these land-use tools.
- Conservation Thresholds for Land Use Planners (2003): A review and synthesis of information from the biological literature, this report provides planners with rules of thumb on how much land to protect, the adequate size and location of habitat corridors, and appropriate widths for riparian buffers. The conservation thresholds recommended in our publication have been used extensively across the country in land-use plans, regulations, and other land-use standards.
- Planning for Biodiversity: Authorities in State Land Use Laws (2003): Prepared in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife, this report is the first to examine the land-use planning enabling and growth management laws in each of the fifty states. It identifies a wide range of currently underutilized and potentially powerful authorities related to biodiversity protection, including planning requirements for natural resources, open space, wildlife habitat, and critical and sensitive areas.
Develop outreach materials designed to meet the needs of community planners.
Conservation Planning Primer. ELI plans to work in partnership witha group of planners, biologists, economists, and others, to develop a primer on best practices for conservation planning. The primer will lay out procedural guidelines for how to incorporate biological information into planning at each of the five strategic points of intervention (visioning and goal setting, plan making, management tools, development review, public investments). (1)
Briefing papers. ELI plans to work with our partners to develop a series of downloadable briefing papers for elected and appointed public officials, community planners, conservation biologists, and other key audiences.
Presentation materials. ELI plans to work with our partners to develop a packaged presentation for delivery at professional meetings that responds to the market research outlined above. The presentation will be designed to be delivered along with the best practices primer and will feature the maps of critical wildlife habitat.
Advance excellence in the conservation planning profession. ELI plans to work with our partners to develop academic standards for the next generation of planners and conservation biologists to ensure that their professional training gives them the skills they need to plan with conservation in mind.
(1) Klein, William. November 2007. “Why Planning Matters — The Five Strategic Points of Intervention.” Planning. American Planning Association.