PSRC launches Conservation Toolkit

New resource provides tools for protecting farms and forests, keeping rural lands rural, and enhancing urban open space

PSRC recently released the Conservation Toolkit for Protecting Farms, Forests, Open Space, and Rural Lands.

The toolkit, which helps implement the Regional Open Space Conservation Plan and VISION 2050, provides a description of open space, rural, and resource land conservation tools to support local jurisdictions and their partners. Many of the tools, particularly the planning, policy, and regulatory tools, will be helpful during comprehensive plan updates.

The tools are broken down between policy, planning and regulatory tools; acquisition and easement tools; stewardship tools; data and mapping tools; as well as tips for accelerating conservation. Many of the tools are funding tools that can help fund conservation projects at many different scales.

The resource also highlights tools that are appropriate to use in urban areas, such as urban forestry programs and open space development requirements. Stomwater parks,  Shore Friendly, and DePave are some other examples shared in the guide.

VISION 2050, PSRC’s long-term growth strategy for the region, called for the agency together with its members and stakeholders, to explore and implement, as feasible, opportunities for local, regional and state-wide conservation programs to reduce development pressure in rural and resource areas to conserve valuable open space areas. Along with development of a conservation toolkit, it specifically calls out Transfer of Development Rights and working to facilitate city and urban development consistent with VISION 2050 that reduces rural development pressure. The toolkit was released so to help jurisdictions with their comprehensive plan updates, which are due at the end of 2024.

PSRC works with counties, cities, Tribes, resource agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance open space throughout the region.

Find out more about regional open space conservation.