Beginning with Habitat

Description: Beginning with Habitat (BwH), a collaborative program of federal, state and local agencies and non-governmental organizations, is a habitat-based approach to conserving wildlife and plant habitat on a landscape scale. The goal of the program is to maintain sufficient habitat to support all native plant and animal species currently breeding in Maine. BwH compiles habitat information from multiple sources, integrates it into one package, and makes it accessible to towns, land trusts, conservation organizations and others to use proactively. Each Maine town is provided with a collection of maps, accompanying information depicting and describing various habitats of statewide and national significance found in the town, and with tools to implement habitat conservation in local land use planning efforts. BwH is designed to help local decision makers create a vision for their community, to design a landscape, and to develop a plan that provides habitat for all species and balances future development with conservation. The data, maps, tools and other suggestions for local conservation strategies can help inform and guide your town’s growth in such a way that 50 years from now your town will maintain a quality of place that not only allows future generations to fish, hunt, photograph or watch wildlife but attracts new economic opportunity as a result of accessible green space and rich recreational offerings.

The website includes a ‘toolbox’ that offers an introduction to using BwH data and principles in municipal comprehensive planning and open space planning and provides tools, including example ordinance language, which can be used to address conservation concerns. A number of supporting documents and publications are available on the website, including the 2003 Beginning with Habitat Booklet, along with maps and data for Maine communities.

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Beginning with Habitat

Format: Website

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