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Whether picnicking at a local park, taking a scenic bike ride through the country, whalewatching off the Pacific coast, or backyard bird-watching, our favorite pastimes would indicate that most people have a love affair with wildlife. In fact, so much so that we spend billions on the roads that take us into the hinterlands and even more to secure beachfront property or neighborhood access to wetlands — and all of it so we can connect with the animals in their natural habitat.
From the perspective of many animals, however, the relationship with humans smacks more of dysfunction than mutual love affair. Urbanization, road and utility construction, and the presence of humans and domestic animals has led to extreme biodiversity loss, species endangerment or extinction, proliferation of non-native species, and habitat fragmentation.
This issue of Zoning Practice discusses zoning tools such as zoning districts, overlays, and density bonuses that can be used to protect critical and sensitive habitats and species.
About the Author
Rebecca Retzlaff, AICP