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Planning for Growth and Open Space Conservation Webinar Series

Welcome to the Planning for Growth and Open Space Conservation Webinar Series!

Natural resource professionals, land use planners, private landowners and others will hear from experts about the issues facing our forestlands – both public and private - and learn about opportunities and strategies to conserve open space through a series of monthly webinars. All are welcome to participate!

Society of American Foresters (SAF) Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) credits, and American Planning Association (APA/AICP) Certification Maintenance (CM) credits are now available for these webinars.

Please attend our next webinar:

Next Webinar in October!


All are welcome to attend!

Please register in advance for this and future webinars.

**If you have ever registered for a webinar at our partner Clemson's website, you are automatically registered for the series and will receive connection information.

Learn how to connect to the webinars


Listen to our past webinars:

Session #26: Using Social Marketing and Micro Targeting to Engage and Move Woodland Owners to Stewardship

This webinar will discuss the importance of social marketing as a tool for conservation. What is social marketing and why should planners and natural resource manager's care? How can data be used to understand your audience? A case study will describe how social marketing was used to encourage land managers in The Driftless Area (a unique region in the Upper Mississippi River Basin encompassing southeast Minnesota, southwest and west -central Wisconsin, northeast Iowa, and a part of northwest Illinois) to identify and involve unengaged landowners in a priority landscape.

  • Jerry Greenberg American Forest Foundation
  • Mary Tyrrell Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

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Session #25: Making the Economic Case for Conservation

The webinar will discuss avoided cost analysis and related valuation techniques, how they are conducted, and applications of these kinds of analyses. Avoided cost analysis is an economic method for identifying the value of a good or service by looking at the changes in costs to society when that good or service is lost. Case studies will be presented on the Mokelumne Watershed in California's Sierra Nevada and the costs associated with the 2013 Rim Fire (Central Sierra Nevada).

  • Mark Buckley EcoNorthwest
  • Kim Carr Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Tim Ramirez San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

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Session #24: Integrated Water Strategies at the Urban Fringe

This webinar explores a green infrastructure approach to conservation planning and how this approach can improve ecological function and enhance biodiversity in design projects at the urban fringe and in urbanizing watersheds. Case studies on the Chesapeake Bay and New York City watersheds will be presented.

  • Joe Berg Biohabitats Inc.
  • Keith Underwood Underwood and Associates
  • John McLaughlin New York City Department of Environmental Protection

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Session #23: Intergenerational Land Transfer

This webinar will explore the relationship between intergenerational land transfer and forest conservation. We will learn about intergenerational land transfer, what help is available to facilitate the process, as well as hear from private forest landowners who are planning for the future transition of forest land to their adult children.

  • Brett Butler US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis
  • Paul Catanzaro University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Allen and Ginny Nipper Private Land Owners, Landowner Legacy Communication

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Session #22: Tracking Land-Use Change Over Time

The webinar will explore NASA's Land-Cover/Land-Use Change Program. The presentation will include an overview of the program, followed by case studies highlighting urban, forest and agricultural land-use change tracking over time in the United States.

  • Garik Gutman NASA Headquarters, Washington DC
  • Cristina Milesi California State University Monterey Bay/NASA Ames Research Center
  • Chengquan Huang University of Maryland
  • David Roy South Dakota State University

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Session #21: Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program

The Forest Service's Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program encourages the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes and has helped catalyze larger restoration efforts surrounding National Forests. The first speaker will give an overview of the CFLR program, and two CFLR case studies will be shared from different regions of the US.

  • Lauren Marshall US Forest Service, National Coordinator CFLR
  • Reese Lolley The Nature Conservancy – Eastern Washington
  • Dick Fleishman US Forest Service – Four Forests Restoration Initiative

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Session #20: Planning for Urban and Community Forestry

As urban areas and communities expand, so do urban and community forests, and the need to manage these essential resources. This program will explore a variety of concepts and tools that are important for land use planners to consider when planning for urban forest conservation and management.

  • Jim Schwab American Planning Association, Hazards Planning Research Center
  • CJ Lammers Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Master Environmental Planner
  • Nancy Sappington Consulting Arborist/Landscape Designer

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Session #19: Community Wildfire Protection Planning

Wildfires have become more intense and frequent as forests thicken with unburned fuels and changes in climate increase uncertainty in future conditions. How can communities in our growing wildland-urban interface prepare for this growing threat? This session will discuss what planners and communities need to know to reduce risks of wildfire. Speakers will discuss Firewise Communities, Fire Adapted Communities, research on wildfire risk and what influences homeowners to take wildfire mitigation actions.

  • Molly Mowery Wildfire Planning International
  • Sarah McCaffrey US Forest Service – Northern Research Station
  • Carol Rice Wildland Resource Management Inc.

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Session #18: Planning for Climate Change Adaptation - Planning for Change in Forests, Wildlife, and Land Us

This panel of speakers will present science and management considerations for climate change adaptation planning from three perspectives: forests, wildlife, and land use planning and hazard mitigation. Speakers will share new resources and publications on climate change adaptation from the Forest Service and National Wildlife Federation and discuss how planners and land managers can consider these changing environmental conditions in their work.

  • Dave Peterson US Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Research Station
  • Bruce Stein National Wildlife Federation – Washington D.C.
  • Phil Berke University of North Carolina

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Session #17: Conservation Planning Tools and Resources

Our January 2013 webinar on Conservation Planning Tools discussed an American Planning Association survey on the use of conservation planning modeling tools by land-use planners. This session will continue the dialog between conservation planners and land use planners by exploring conservation planning tools and networks available for sharing knowledge, tools, and data.

  • Patrick Crist NatureServe - Vista and the EBM Tools Network
  • Kai Henifin Conservation Biology Institute - Databasin
  • Scott Story Western Governors' Association - Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) and Crucial Areas Planning

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Session #16: Strategic Conservation Planning and Partnerships

This program provides examples of strategic conservation planning by nonprofit groups using a variety of approaches, including partnerships. Resources and publications will be shared by the Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, and a case study on Chicago Wilderness.

  • Ole Amundsen Conservation Fund
  • Kristin Sherwood The Nature Conservancy
  • Melinda Pruett-Jones Chicago Wilderness

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Session #15: National Forest Plan Revisions and the New Planning Rule

This session will explore how open space and 'all lands' are being addressed in Forest Plan Revision efforts and how the plan revision process has changed from the old 1982 Planning Rule to the new 2012 Planning Rule. The first presentation will discuss how an all-lands approach was applied under the old planning rule. Then, a planning staff member from the Washington D.C. office will give an overview of the new planning rule. The last presenter will present an 'early adopter' perspective on forest plan revisions under the new planning rule.

  • Ken Landgraf US Forest Service - George Washington National Forest Plan Revision, Virginia
  • Bill Connelly US Forest Service – Planning Staff, Washington D.C.
  • Jo Ann Fites-Kaufman US Forest Service - Southern Sierra National Forests Plan Revision, California

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Session #14: Conserving Private Lands in Perpetuity: Monitoring and enforcement of conservation easements

Conservation Easements have been an important tool for conserving private lands and retaining working landscapes for farming and forestry, but creating the conservation easement is only part of the story. This program will discuss some of the common challenges associated with monitoring and enforcing conservation easements and how to overcome them.

  • Miranda Hutten USFS, Cooperative Forestry, Washington D.C.
  • Leslie Ratley-Beach Land Trust Alliance - Conservation Defense
  • Dick Peterson Minnesota DNR Forest Legacy Program Manager - Monitoring Conservation Easements

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Session #13: City and County Open Space Programs

This program presents growth and open space conservation planning for cities and counties. Speakers will present the Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac and LandVote resources that are available online for researching conservation activities, and public funding for land conservation. We will also learn about open space conservation planning processes, ordinances, funding mechanisms, and partnerships employed in Missoula, Montana, and Baltimore County, Maryland.

  • Mary Bruce Alford Trust for Public Land – Center for Conservation Finance Research
  • Jackie Corday City of Missoula, Montana
  • Don Outen Baltimore County, Maryland

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Session #12: Greening Grey Infrastructure: Federal Highway Administration's Eco-Logical Approach and Case Studies from National Forests in Ohio and Washington

  • Marlys Osterhues Federal Highway Administration - Eco-Logical Program
  • Patty Garvey-Darda Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest - I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East
  • Dan Kincaid Wayne National Forest - Route 33 Nelsonville Bypass

This session explores the application of ecological concepts in planning highway infrastructure projects, to improve wildlife connectivity, hydrology, recreation access, and public safety. Speakers will present the Federal Highway Administration's Eco-logical program and highway infrastructure projects occurring on two National Forests: the Wayne National Forest, in Ohio; and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, in Washington.

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Session #11: An All Lands Approach to Ecosystem Services for Water

  • Emily Weidner: USFS, Cooperative Forestry - Ecosystem Services Program, Washington D.C.
  • Claire Harper: USFS Cooperative Forestry Region 2, Golden, Colorado
  • Bob Deal: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Research and programs for water markets and the Willamette Partnership

This program will feature various Forest Service programs and partnerships that are working across boundaries on both public and private lands to conserve water resources and create markets that will conserve open space. Case studies will include projects in Denver, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest.

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Session #10: Tools for Conservation Planning

  • Ryan Scherzinger: American Planning Association
  • Sarah Reed: Colorado State University and Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Don Lipscomb: Clemson University

This program will present findings from recent surveys on the use of conservation planning tools by land use planners, and guidelines and incentives for conservation design in local development regulations. Contemporary conservation planning tools will be introduced as well as a discussion on how land use planners and conservation biologists can improve working partnerships.

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Session #9: Private land conservation programs from the Farm Bill: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, and US Forest Service.

  • Bruce Wight: NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance, EQIP, WHIP, CSP, Statewide Forest Action Plans
  • Katina Hanson: FSA: Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
  • Karl Dalla Rosa: USFS Forest Stewardship

Join us for a discussion of current and future Farm Bill programs administered by the Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency that support private landowner efforts to protect working forests and conserve open space.

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Session #8: Landscape Conservation Initiatives: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Natural Resources Conservation Service

  • Doug Austen/Ben Thatcher: USFWS – Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
  • Kit Muller: BLM – Rapid Ecoregional Assessments, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
  • Nancy Natoli: DOD - Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative
  • Bruce Wight: NRCS – Landscape Initiatives

Program managers will provide an overview of landscape conservation initiatives supported by several federal agencies and present case studies that showcase efforts to work with partners and conserve open space at a landscape scale.

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Session #7: Science to inform Open Space Conservation: Land use changes, forest fragmentation, and the Wildland-Urban Interface

  • Dave Theobald: Colorado State University
  • Miranda Mockrin: US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
  • Dave Wear: US Forest Service Research, Southern Research Station
  • Kurt Riitters: US Forest Service, Southern Research Station

What is science telling us about land use change? Our science panel will discuss the various methods they have used to project growth, map housing densities, and observe forest fragmentation across the country. Join us for a discussion on how these tools can help guide planning efforts and ways that fragmentation is affecting forest lands.

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Session #6: Facilitating Large Landscape Conservation Efforts: Working effectively across boundaries in the Northeast and Crown of the Continent

  • Shawn Johnson: Practitioner's Network, Crown of the Continent
  • Rob Pirani: Regional Plan Association
  • Jim Bonesteel: Rensselaur Plateau Alliance

Keynote speakers will discuss tools and resources available to large landscape planning practitioners, share case studies from the Northeast and Rocky Mountain regions, and provide valuable lessons learned on how to work effectively across boundaries with multiple partners at the landscape scale.

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Session #5: Local and Regional Land Trusts: Essential partners and the tools they provide

  • Chuck Roe: Southeast Director - Land Trust Alliance
  • Carl Silverstein: Executive Director - Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Blue Ridge Forever Coalition (Asheville, North Carolina)
  • Gene Duvernoy: President - Forterra (Seattle, Washington)
  • Robb Macleod: Ducks Unlimited, Inc. - National Conservation Easement Database

Our panel of Land Trust staff will present valuable skills and tools used in working with local governments to balance growth and open space conservation. Speakers will provide an overview of land trusts across the country, present programs and tools supported by the Land Trust Alliance, provide an overview of the National Conservation Easement Database, and present case studies from Southern Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest.

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Session #4: The Forest Service Toolbox: Conservation easement and land acquisition programs

  • Jeff Vail Assistant Director, Lands and Realty Management Program– National Headquarters (Washington, DC)
  • Deirdre Raimo Forest Legacy Program Manager – Northeastern Area
  • Kyle Jones Lands Program Manager – National Forests of Florida

Forest Service program managers will provide an overview of two national programs used to create conservation easements and/or land acquisitions: the Forest Legacy Program, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Case studies from the National Forests of Florida will also be shared.

Link to video presentation NOTE: due to some technical difficulties, there is a slight delay in audio on the recording.

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Session #3: Green Infrastructure Planning: Connecting partners and greenspaces

  • Kendra Briechle Conservation Leadership Network - The Conservation Fund
  • Karen Firehock Executive Director - Green Infrastructure Center Inc., Virginia
  • Rick LeBrasseur Executive Director - The Center for Green Infrastructure Design, Utah

This webinar explores Green Infrastructure Planning, how local communities can get started, and the role that the Forest Service can play. The guest speakers discuss the resources, tools, and training opportunities available to help local communities plan for growth as well as protect valuable greenspaces. The Wasatch Front Green Infrastructure Planning case study is highlighted.

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Session #2: Legal authorities for Forest Service engagement in open space

  • Margie Ewing US Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry
  • Jay Pence District Ranger - Teton Basin Ranger District, Caribou-Targhee National Forest
  • Maya Solomon US Forest Service, Cooperative Forestry
  • Lorraine "Rainee" Luciano Office of Ethics - Forest Service Ethics Branch

Speakers discussed Forest Service participation in local growth planning efforts, an overview of legal authorities that allow Forest Service participation of such work, ethical considerations and a case study from a Forest Service District Ranger. Ron Mulach and Kate Schneider from the USDA Office of General Counsel were available to answer questions.

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Session #1: National Forest Management in the Face of Housing Growth

  • Marisue Hilliard Former Forest Supervisor – National Forests of North Carolina
  • Ron Archuleta Deputy Forest Supervisor - Gallatin National Forest, Montana

In the series kick-off presentation, keynote speakers discuss first hand experiences managing National Forests impacted by housing growth, strategies used to conserve open space, and lessons learned along the way.

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This series is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, National Open Space Conservation Group.