Monday, May 21, 2012

Landscapes: Improving Conservation Practice in the Northeast Megaregion -- RPA and America 2050

Landscapes: Improving Conservation Practice in the Northeast Megaregion from the Regional Plan Association and American 2050 (Feb. 2012)  finds that "Buying land isn’t enough. Building parks
won’t get it done. Restoring forests and wetlands by themselves is not an answer. Successful conservation requires a comprehensive, regional approach.

Landscape conservation means looking beyond property boundaries and political jurisdictions.... With funding scarce, it’s also crucial to build partnerships that can set mutual priorities, share resources and collaborate effectively....

This is especially true for complex geographies like the 13-state Northeast megaregion.... Its cities, suburbs and rural areas are expected to add an additional 15 million people by the year 2040. Where these people are housed, and how their transportation and energy needs are met, will dictate whether the region’s wildlife, drinking water and other resources, farms and forests, and outdoor recreational opportunities are truly lasting.

Landscape conservation initiatives can bring together the diverse interests critical for conservation success in the Northeast and elsewhere.... Such collaboration can enable the conservation community to align protection and management of individual properties while providing a platform for engaging non-traditional partners in their work. 

This report offers a summary of the work landscape conservation initiatives are doing in the Northeast megaregion. Specific examples on how landscape practitioners are carrying out their work are highlighted throughout the document.... The survey was used to identify the major challenges facing landscape conservation, including urban growth and land-use change, investments in transportation, water and energy infrastructure, climate change and limited funding for conservation and management.... Maps and analyses of infrastructure investments, energy resources and climate change similarly help paint a mega-regional-scale picture of challenges and opportunities.

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