Much of the country's recent population growth is situated beyond the metropolitan fringe, where development consumes millions of acres of privately owned land. Exurbanization has become the dominant pattern of land development in America and there is no indication it will slow in the future. This development depletes agricultural and wildlands, and causes numerous environmental impacts ranging from the loss of biodiversity and wildland habitats to soil erosion, an increase in nonnative species, and the heightened threat to endangered species.
Written for regional planners, planning commissions, local elected officials, environmental groups, and the public-at-large, "The Planner's Guide to Natural Resource Conservation" provides readers from diverse, nonscientific backgrounds with a working knowledge of how and why exurbanization impacts environmental systems. Contributors include experts in rangeland ecology, restoration ecology, zoology, urban and regional planning, and conservation biology, who highlight the best practices to mitigate environmental problems or to avoid them altogether. Each chapter will leave readers with a firm grasp of relevant concepts and processes, an understanding of current research, and the know-how to apply science to land-use decisions.
Section 1: Exurbanization in Perspective: History, Impacts and Science Fundamentals Chapter 1. The Dimensions of Exurban Development in the United States Author: Adrian X. Esparza Chapter 2. The Economic Consequences of Exurban Land Development Author: J. Edward de Steiguer Chapter 3. Land Fragmentation in Exurban Areas Author: David Theobald Chapter 4. Fundamental Concepts in Ecology and Environmental Systems Author: Guy R. McPherson Section 2: Exurban Land Development, Habitat and Wildlife Chapter 5. Biodiversity and Residential Development Beyond the Fringe Authors: Jane Bock and Carl Bock Chapter 6. Wildlife Corridors and Exurban Land Development Author: Stephen DeStefano Chapter 7. Birds, Nesting and Exurban Land Conversion Author: R. William Mannan Chapter 8. The Urban-Wildlands Interface and the Importance of Wildlife and Wildlife Habitats in Cities Adjacent to Wildlands. Authors: William Shaw and Rachel McCaffrey Section 3: Vegetation, Climate Change and Fire (new section) Chapter 9. The Impacts of Rural Land Development on Vegetation (new chapter) This chapter describes the properties of major vegetation eco-regions in the United States, and explains how and why exurban development alters ecological processes over varying spatial and temporal scales. It also discusses why specific development densities and configurations are best suited for particular vegetation regimes, and points to mitigation techniques that have proven most successful. Chapter 10. Climate Change and Ecology in Rural Lands (new chapter) Global climate change is modifying ecological processes at the regional scale as temperatures rise and precipitation patterns change. This chapter describes how these changes likely will affect exurban landscapes, alter ecological processes, and introduce new constraints to conservation and preservation in rural areas. Chapter 11. Exurban Encroachment, Fire and Forest Ecology (new chapter) Even though encroachment is long standing, the proliferation of second and seasonal homes in pristine forested areas has grown in recent decades. This trend has raised alarms because the incidence of fires has escalated and, with it, the rise of property damage. The objective of this chapter is to describe the causes and mechanics of fires and identify planning techniques that can mitigate and minimize exposure to fire risks. Section 4: Water Resources, Wetlands and Storm Water Management Chapter 12. Impacts of Exurban Development on Water Quality and Quantity Authors: Kathleen Lohse and Adina Merenlender Chapter 13. Exurban Land Development, Wetlands and Riparian Areas Authors: Mark Briggs, Ann Audrey and Kendall Kroesen Chapter 14. Storm Water Management in Exurbia Authors: Evan Canfield and Richard Hawkins Section 5: Science-Based Planning in Exurban Areas Chapter 15. A Science-based Framework for Conservation based on Rare and Endangered Species: The Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan Authors: Robert J. Steidl and William Shaw Chapter 16. Integrating Science with Planning Practice (new chapter) This chapter highlights planning tools and techniques that have proven successful in preserving environmental integrity at regional and local scales. The chapter presents case studies in which environmental scientists, regional planners, and land managers have joined forces to promote rural ecological sustainability through comprehensive plans, ordinances and site-specific techniques. Chapter 17. Summary and Synthesis: the Role of Science in Exurban Land Development Authors: Adrian Esparza and Guy R. McPherson
Adrian X. Esparza is Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 1987, University of Illinois-Urbana). He taught previously in the School of Planning, College of Architecture at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on exurban land development in the southwest United States and urbanization in the United States-Mexico border region. He has published dozens of articles in the fields of urban and regional planning and regional science.
Guy McPherson is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 1987, Texas Tech University). He also worked for the University of Georgia, Texas A & M University, University of California-Berkeley, and The Nature Conservancy. His research focuses on development and application of ecological knowledge. His scholarly efforts have produced dozens of journal articles and eight books.
From the reviews: "Editors Esparza and McPherson (both, Univ. of Arizona) have divided this 13-chapter work into four parts. ! Each part offers a useful starting point for those interested in the intersection of exurban planning and environmental problems. ! Summing Up: Recommended. ! Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners." (B. D. Orr, Choice, Vol. 47 (5), January, 2010)