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Conservation Thresholds for Land Use Planners Conference

Wingspread Conference Center
Racine, WI

March 21-23, 2007


On March 21-23, 2007, the Environmental Law Institute and the Johnson Foundation hosted a conference titled Conservation Thresholds for Land Use Planners at the Foundation’s breathtaking Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin. The conference was supported by the George Gund Foundation, Johnson Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation. The purpose of the conference was to advance the field of conservation planning by identifying robust and measurable implementation strategies that support the development and application of science-based conservation thresholds.

ELI facilitated the symposium, as will compile and distribute a report based on the days’ discussions. The report will highlight the next critical steps to be taken to promote the integration of biodiversity conservation and land use planning. This Web page was established to serve as a clearinghouse for information on the conference, ELI’s Conservation Thresholds Project, and related issues.

The specific objectives of this working meeting were to:
  • Identify the type and format of science-based thresholds needed by planners to transform traditional planning approaches into innovative and effective conservation tools;
  • Highlight gaps in the conservation biology literature that need to be addressed and identify available resources that could be utilized to support the development of science-based planning thresholds; and
  • Develop a set of clear recommendations for advancing effective, science-based planning for biodiversity conservation.
Background Information
Wingspread Conference: March 2007
Wingspread Conference Proceedings

Day One, Wednesday, March 21

    • Carole M. Johnson, The Johnson Foundation
  • PLENARY SESSION: Goals and Expectations for the Conservation Thresholds Conference
    • Jessica Wilkinson, State Biodiversity Program Director, ELI
  • BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Primers for the Professionals
    • Breakout A: Conservation Biology Primer for the Non-Conservation Biologists
    • Breakout B: Land Use Planning Primer for the Non-Planners - PowerPoint Presentation
      • Tim Duane, Ph.D., J.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • PLENARY SESSION: The “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” and “How” of Conservation Planning - Audio Recording
    • Introduction
      • Rebecca Kihslinger, Ph.D., Science & Policy Analyst, ELI
    • What Are We Protecting, Where Should We Focus Our Efforts, And When It Should Take Place? - PowerPoint Presentation
      • Reed Noss, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Central Florida
    • What Is Conservation Planning and Why Do Planners Need Conservation Thresholds? -PowerPoint Presentation
      • Lesli Kunkle Ellis, AICP, Clarion Associates
    • The “Implementation Crisis” of Conservation Planning - PowerPoint Presentation
      • Reed Noss, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Central Florida
    • Questions and Discussion

Day Two, Thursday, March 22

  • PLENARY SESSION & FACILITATED EXERCISE: Identifying Planners’ Science-Based Information Needs - Audio Recording
  • BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Implementation Strategies for Conservation Planning I
    • Breakout IA: Tools to Measure the Effectiveness of Conservation Planning
    • Breakout IB: Innovations and Investments in Outreach and Training
    • PLENARY SESSION: Breakouts Report Back - Audio Recording
  • PLENARY SESSION: Successful Communication Tools for Conservation Planning -PowerPoint Presentation, Audio Recording 1, Audio Recording 2
    • Robert A. Pérez, Senior Vice President, Fenton Communications
  • BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Implementation Strategies for Conservation Planning II
    • Breakout IIA, IIB, & IIC: Effective Incentives and Requirements for Pro-Active Conservation Planning (Parallel Working Groups)
    • PLENARY SESSION: Breakouts Report Back - Audio Recording
    • PLENARY: Wrap-Up - Audio Recording

Day Three, Friday, March 23

  • BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Implementation Strategies for Conservation Planning III
    • PLENARY: Breakout Setup - Audio Recording
    • Breakout IIIA: Communication Needs to Support Conservation Planning
    • Breakout IIIB: Requirements and Incentives for Overcoming t he Scale Barrier
    • Breakout IIIC: Research Advances to Address Incomplete Areas of Understanding and Fill Significant Gaps
    • PLENARY SESSION: Breakouts Report Back - Audio Recording
  • PLENARY SESSION: Review & Discussion of Implementation Strategies - Audio Recording
  • PLENARY SESSION: Conference Conclusions and Next Steps - Audio Recording

Funding for ELI’s Conservation Thresholds project has been provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, George Gund Foundation, H.M. Jackson Foundation, Johnson Foundation — Wingspread Conference Center, Surdna Foundation, and an individual donor.

For additional information contact Rebecca Kihslinger via email at kihslinger@eli.org.