Much of the country’s recent population growth is situated in exurban areas. By many accounts exurbanization has become the dominant pattern of land development in the country and there is no indication it will slow in the foreseeable future (Theobald 2005; Brown et al. 2005; Glennon and Kretser 2005). By definition, exurban development takes place beyond the metropolitan fringe, often in rural and remote areas. The development of new exurban communities is a growing trend, especially in the West. In this case, developers and homebuilders seek large tracts of land, up to thousands of acres, in rural areas (typically within 50 miles of a large city) where they plan entire communities consisting of commercial, retail and residential land uses. Recreational amenities such as golf courses and hiking/biking trails are often included in these master-planned developments. Our philosophy is reflected in the book’s two objectives. First, we seek to document the extent and impacts of exurban development across the country. At issue is demonstrating why planners and the public-at-large should be concerned about exurbanization. We will demonstrate that even though exurbanization favors amenity rich regions, it affects all areas of the country through the loss of agricultural and grazing lands, impacts to watersheds and land modification. A summary of environmental impacts is presented, including the loss of wildlands and agricultural productivity, land modification, soil erosion, impacts to terrestrial hydrologic systems, the loss of biodiversity, nonnative and endangered species and other topics. Our second aim is to provide readers from diverse (nonscientific) backgrounds with a working knowledge of how and why exurbanization impacts environmental systems. This is accomplished by working closely to ensure contributors follow a specific outline for each chapter. First, contributors will spell out fundamental concepts, principles and processes that apply to their area of expertise (e.g., riparian areas). Contributors will move beyond a cursory understanding of ecological processes without overwhelming readers with the dense material found typically in specialized texts. For this reason, visuals and other support materials will be integral to each chapter. We have chosen contributors carefully based on their record as research scientists and acumen as educators. Second, once the mechanics have been laid out, authors will explain how and why land development in nearby areas influences ecosystems. Issues of interdependency, modification and adaptation, spatial scale and varying time horizons will be featured. Third, contributors will weigh in on the pros and cons of various land-development schemes. Fourth, authors will share their thinking on the merits of conservation devices such as wildlife corridors, open-space requirements and watershed management districts. Finally, each chapter will conclude by identifying pitfalls to avoid and highlighting "best practices" that will mitigate environmental problems or avoid them altogether. In sum, after completing each chapter, readers should have a firm grasp of relevant concepts and processes, an understanding of current research and know how to apply science to land-use decisions.
Soil quality is the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries to: ? sustain plant and animal productivity ? maintain or enhance water and air quality ? support human health and habitation Soil function describes what the soil does. Soil functions are: (1) sustaining biological activity, diversity, and productivity; (2) regulating and partitioning water and solute flow; (3) filtering and buffering, degrading, immobilizing, and detoxifying organic and inorganic materials, including industrial and municipal by-products and atmospheric deposition; (4) storing and cycling nutrients and other elements within the earth
As humans continue to encroach on wildlands, quality and quantity of wildlife habitat decreases before our eyes. A housing development here, a shopping mall there, a few more trees cut here, another road put in there, each of these diminishes available habitat. Unless the cumulative effects of multiple simultaneous development projects are recognized and incorporated at the beginning of project development, we will continue to see wildlife habitat disappear at unprecedented rates. Divided into two parts, Cumulative Effects in Wildlife Management emphasizes the importance of recognizing cumulative effects and highlights the necessity of their bearing on future policy. It begins with an outline of the differences between direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of anthropogenic impacts on wildlife habitat and addresses the similarities and differences in US and Canadian policies, legal and economic ramifications, and the confusion that stems from lack of consideration, communication, and forward planning. Section 1 also describes the current standard means of quantifying cumulative effects as proposed by the Council on Environmental Quality. Section 2 presents a series of case studies that deepen our appreciation of how anthropogenic influences interconnect and how this heightened level of understanding influences our ability to make informed decisions. Case studies include cumulative effects in the Canadian Arctic, border issues with Mexico, suburban and exurban landscapes, scenic resources, and the cumulative impacts of energy development on sage-grouse. Without a conscious knowledge of what is happening around us, we will not be able to incorporate an effective land ethic, and natural resources will be the ultimate loser. Cumulative Effects in Wildlife Management brings to light the crucial connections between human expansion and habitat destruction for those managers and practitioners charged with protecting wildlife in the face of changing landscapes.
What does the future look like? Planners wrestle with this question daily as they strive to bring a community's vision of itself to life, in all its complexity. Here is an authoritative and accessible guide to a tool that combines 3-D visualization, data analysis and scenario building to let planners and citizens see the future impacts of a plan or development. The Planners Guide to CommunityViz is the first book to explain how to support planning projects with CommunityViz, GIS-based software that planners around the world are using to help decision-makers, professionals, and the public visualize, analyze, and communicate about development proposals, future growth patterns, and the outcome of particular plans or developments. It shows the planner which tools and techniques to use and how to use them for maximum effectiveness on planning projects large and small. Full of practical examples and case studies, the book shows how CommunityViz can enliven the comprehensive planning process from visioning, to public participation, to values mapping, to build-out analysis. Chapters show how to use CommunityViz to analyze zoning regulations, calculate the costs of community services, and evaluate development proposals requiring design review. In addition, it is applicable to transportation planning, natural-resource planning, land-development suitability assessment, and urban economic development analysis.