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GLIN==> WI DNR Smart Growth Guide now available

WI DNR Smart Growth Guide now available

MADISON, WI -- People involved in determining the future growth and
development of their communities across Wisconsin now have a new guide to
turn to when making decisions regarding local wildlife and other natural
resources. This week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in
cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, is releasing an
84-page "how-to" manual titled Planning for Natural Resources: A Guide to
Including Natural Resources in Local Comprehensive Planning.

"Wisconsin residents who participate in developing local Smart Growth plans
have the potential to protect many resources beyond the protection given by
state regulations," said Shannon Fenner, a DNR land use specialist. "The
impacts of comprehensive planning for natural resources could extend far
into the future. This isn't something we do for ourselves or our children,
but for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and so on."

Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources has created a new Internet
web site devoted to land use issues and comprehensive planning. The site
will not only provide a direct link to the department's own guide to
including natural resources in local land use planning, but links to guides
and articles written and produced by other state agencies and organizations
on the same topic. The entire DNR comprehensive planning guide
<Http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/es/science/landuse/> is available to read or
download from the DNR Web site.

Paper copies are also available at county UW-Extension offices or by calling
Martin Griffin at (608) 266-0842 or by email at griffmp@dnr.state.wi.us

As part of legislation passed by the state legislature in 1999, virtually
every community in Wisconsin is required to prepare or be part of a
comprehensive land use plan. This is commonly referred to as Smart Growth
and all Wisconsin communities must have a comprehensive plan in place by
2010. Each Smart Growth plan is required to include a compilation of
objectives, policies, goals, maps and programs to address the conservation,
promotion and effective management of the community's natural resources.

According to the legislation, each community's plan must specifically
address several key elements, including transportation, housing,
agriculture, and natural resources.

The natural resources guide - produced voluntarily, as were guides from
other state agencies - is meant to provide useful insights to a broad group
of users including local government officials, land use planning
consultants, and private citizens interested in preserving wild areas and
the natural resources of the state.

"Natural resources are integral to every element of comprehensive planning,"
said Fenner. "Natural resources should be identified early in the planning
process so that communities have choices about their protection as they
proceed through all the other elements. By getting involved in making local
land use decisions, private citizens and government officials have the
unique opportunity to move from mitigating environmental problems after land
use decisions have been made, to helping prevent problems from arising in
the first place." 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannon Fenner, DNR Land Use Specialist -
(608) 267-2770 or Brian Ohm, UW Extension Land Use Specialist - (608)

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