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NATURAL RESOURCE PRESERVATION

The anticipated future growth and development in Southeastern Wisconsin will increase pressure on the Region’s natural resources, which makes it important to preserve natural resources strategically and minimize impacts where possible. Review the key recommendations related to natural resource preservation and a summary of recent activity. Then, explore relevant metrics the Commission monitors using the interactive maps and charts provided below. 

WHAT VISION 2050 RECOMMENDS:

  • Minimizing impacts of new development on environmentally significant lands

  • Continuing public interest acquisition of land for outdoor recreation and open space uses

  • Minimizing the impacts of new development on productive agricultural land, including highly productive Class I and Class II soils (prime agricultural land) as classified by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service

HOW ARE WE DOING?
Activity since VISION 2050 was originally adopted in 2016

▲ Primary environmental corridors protected and additional corridors identified

▼ Of primary agricultural land developed, most has not been in locations consistent with the plan

Public Interest Acquisition of Environmental Corridors in Southeastern Wisconsin: 2006-2019

The best remaining features of the Region's natural resource base (lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and woodlands, among others) generally occur in linear patterns in the landscape. These linear patterns are called environmental corridors.

The adjacent chart indicates the additional amount of acreage of open space associated with environmental corridors in the Region protected each year through public interest acquisition or conservation easements since 2006.

 

This acreage represents the total area of the parcels concerned, including the area within the environmental corridors and any agricultural or other open space lands located outside the environmental corridors that may be expected to become part of the corridors as they revert to more natural conditions in the years ahead.

Source: SEWRPC

Download Data

Public Interest Acquisition of Environmental Corridors in Southeastern Wisconsin: 2019

Source: SEWRPC

As shown on the map above, in 2019, 19 sites comprising 1,148 acres of open space associated with environmental corridors were protected through public interest acquisition or conservation easements. Public agency efforts resulted in the protection of nine sites encompassing a total of 370 acres in 2019, with an annual average of about 210 acres over the five-year period of 2015-2019. Private land trust efforts resulted in the protection of 10 sites encompassing a total of 778 acres in 2019, with an annual average of about 534 acres over the five-year period of 2015-2019.