Nature Friendly Land Use Practices at Multiple Scales

Nature-Friendly Land Use Practices at Multiple Scales
James McElfish and Rebecca Kihslinger
Release Date

Out of print


This book is no longer in print. There are no plans for a subsequent edition.

Development due to urbanization is the most significant threat to U.S. wildlife conservation. According to estimates, the nation will need approximately two million new housing units a year to meet the demands of the next 100 million U.S. residents. However, there are significant opportunities to influence the pattern and extent of development in order to meet conservation goals.

This unique book is organized around eight detailed case studies of private land developers, local governments, and public agencies that have worked across jurisdictional and ecological boundaries to effectively address habitat conservation. The book includes two essays by leading conservation biologists who link planning at scale with sound land use decisions. The book articulates six lessons or “best practices” for the design and implementation of programs and projects that incorporate effective conservation at multiple scales: creating and sustaining an independent entity focused on habitat, including regional conservation efforts; maintaining dynamic access to conservation science; “branding” a project or place as wildlife-supporting; identifying regional habitat conservation opportunities and funding sources; educating the community in order to increase citizen involvement; achieving external certification in order to maintain a project's continuity as nature-friendly over time. These key elements provide planners, developers, and government agencies with attainable objectives for the design and implementation of land use programs that incorporate wildlife conservation at multiple scales.

About the Author

Rebecca L. Kihslinger is a Science and Policy Analyst at the Environmental Law Institute. She is the lead editor of ELI’s 2007 publication, Lasting Landscapes: Reflections on the Role of Conservation Science in Land Use Planning and the lead author of a chapter on “biodiversity corridors” in Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature. Rebecca has also been a contributing author of ELI research reports related to wetland buffers and habitat banking and has developed a wetlands mitigation training course for land trusts. Rebecca earned a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from University of California, Davis (2006) where she studied the effects of hatchery rearing practices on salmon development.

James M. McElfish, Jr., directs the Sustainable Use of Land Program at the Environmental Law Institute. He is the author of Nature-Friendly Ordinances (Envtl. L. Inst. 2004), several books about mining regulation, book chapters on state and local environmental laws, and approximately 60 ELI research reports and scholarly articles, mostly relating to water, wetlands, land use, and habitat. McElfish served on the American Planning Association’s Directorate for its Growing Smarter Legislative Guidebook. He is a graduate of Yale Law School (1979) and Dickinson College (1976).