Natural Resource Protection
Community Strategies for Vermont’s Forests and Wildlife: A Guide for Local Action
This publication is a guide for communities to take local action to ensure the future of their forests and wildlife. It is designed to provide planning and conservation commissions with concrete strategies to keep forests intact.
Habitat protection starts in the master planning process when areas are identified for protection through use of natural resource inventories and maps. These areas can then be protected through ordinances and regulatory measures. The tool presented here can be used in three ways: as voluntary guidelines for developers, as a set of design principles adopted by a town or board, and finally, as a set of standards that could be incorporated into site plan and subdivision ordinances as performance standards.
Open Space & Resource Protection Programs
Implementation Manual. There are a variety of techniques available at the local level to protect resources and to preserve open space. The options most appropriate for local use depend in large part on community goals and objectives and the municipal, volunteer, and financial resources available to administer local programs.
Open Space & Resource Protection Regulations
Implementation Manual. Municipal land use regulations offer an effective—though not necessarily permanent—way to preserve open space. Regulations can be used to manage the type, density, and location of development in relation to designated open space areas, to incorporate “green infrastructure” into project design and to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts to critical or fragile cultural and ecological resources.
Beginning with Habitat (BwH) Toolbox – Open Space Planning
This section of the Beginning with Habitat (BwH) Toolbox is intended to provide a broad overview of open space planning. This includes reasons for open space planning, explanation of what an open space plan is, the planning process, the components of the plan, example plans and more.
Beginning with Habitat (BwH) Toolbox – Opportunities for Financing Habitat Protection
Unlike land trusts that have land protection and acquisition as a primary function, municipalities typically struggle with limited funds having to be allocated across a variety of functions and capital improvement projects. This section of the Beginning with Habitat (BwH) Toolbox is intended to provide a broad overview of tools that have been implemented by Maine communities that enable municipal purchase of land in fee or interest via easements and long-term leases. This includes impact fees, local land bonds, current use tax program and grant sources.
Beginning with Habitat (BwH) Toolbox – Open Space Impact Fees
Impact fees equip a municipality with a mechanism to pay for future infrastructure, service and open/green space needs that grow as the local population expands. Impact fees work by requiring that private residential developments creating the need for the increased municipal services pay a fee that helps to cover the costs for that specific service expansion. The fees collected must be used to address the need created by the new residents moving into town.
Beginning with Habitat (BwH) Toolbox – Wildlife Habitat Overlay District
This example of a Wildlife Habitat Overlay District was designed to provide a tool to reduce habitat fragmentation resulting from residential development and division of land. It is intended to work in concert with a town's underlying subdivision ordinance and to provide additional guidance for open space approaches to subdivision layout.