Lasting Landscapes: Reflections on the Role of Conservation Science in Land Use Planning

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Law Institute is pleased to announce the publication of Lasting Landscapes: Reflections on the Role of Conservation Science in Land Use Planning, a collection of essays authored by leaders in the fields of conservation biology and land-use planning. Reed Noss, Ph.D., provides an Overview and Commentary. The collection is a milestone in identifying opportunities to foster collaboration between the fields of conservation biology and land use planning. It offers concrete recommendations for how to advance the development of biologically defensible plans that support lasting landscapes and nature-friendly communities.

The authors of the eight essays are David Theobald, Ph.D.; Adina Merenlender, Ph.D.; Dan Perlman, Ph.D.; Bruce Stein, Ph.D.; Philip Berke, Ph.D.; Arlan Colton, FAICP and Sherry Ruther; and Timothy Duane, J.D., Ph.D. They include a biodiversity support expert, professors of biology and of land-use planning, and practicing planners. Despite their wide ranging experience and expertise, some consensus emerges among the authors as to how best to encourage the use of conservation science to guide the location and pattern of growth in a biologically meaningful manner. The authors suggest:

  • Developing tools for planners to communicate the value of conservation to their constituents
  • Enacting requirements and incentives for proactive conservation planning
  • Developing tools to measure the effectiveness of conservation planning
  • Synchronizing the actions of governments at local, regional, and state levels
  • Encouraging planners to adapt conservation principles to individual situations
  • Creating a technical support system to help land-use planners and conservation scientists use each others' expertise to advance their goals

This collection of essays will be valuable to those in the vanguard of progressive land-use planning or who are interested in emerging strategies to promote biodiversity conservation.

Lasting Landscapes is a "sturdy and practical bridge connecting the worlds of conservation science and land-use planning written by some of the most creative and experienced minds in these fields. A nice blend of good science and real-world application."
--Gary K. Meffe, Editor, Conservation Biology

"The series of essays contained in 'Lasting Landscapes' provides a compelling reason why planning practitioners must integrate conservation planning into the process of creating livable communities."
--Michael A. Harper, FAICP
Treasurer, National Association of County Planners
Planning Manager, Washoe County Community Development Department

"'Lasting Landscapes' thoughtfully describes the problems and opportunities associated with the need to integrate conservation science into the full range of what planners do at every scale. Planners can ratchet up their biodiversity and conservation planning consciousness with this volume of nine well-thought-out essays by leading conservation scientists and planners.
--William R. Klein, AICP, Director of Research, American Planning Association.

Lasting Landscapes is available to download free of cost on the ELI website.

Contact Info:

Donna Lomangino
President, Throwplace Ltd.
Tel : 202.369.2059
E-mail :

Website : the Environmental Law Institute