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Opportunities for Regulation of Land Use and Development as a Legal Tool to Protect Biodiversity

March 2007

Citation: ELR 10209

Author: Robert B. McKinstry Jr., James McElfish, Michael Jacobson, and Coreen Ripp

Editors' Summary: Development and urban sprawl threaten biodiversity by displacing and fragmenting habitat with roads, commercial structures, and private homes. In this Article, authors Robert B. McKinstry Jr., James McElfish, Michael Jacobson, and Coreen Ripp look at the potential for using land use law and laws regulating development activities to address these threats to biodiversity. Using examples taken from Pennsylvania law and a 50-state survey conducted by the Environmental Law Institute and Defenders of Wildlife, the authors examine regulatory and other legal tools with the potential to protect biodiversity.


Robert McKinstry Jr. is the Maurice K. Goddard Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources Conversation at Pennsylvania State University. James McElfish is a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), where he directs the Institute's Sustainable Use of Land Program. Michael Jacobson is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at the Pennsylvania State University School of Forest Resources. Coreen Ripp is currently working as an Environmental Analysis and Review Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection in the Bureau of Land and Water Resources. [Editors' Note: This Article appears in the book Biodiversity Conservation Handbook, by Robert B. McKinstry Jr., Coreen M. Ripp, and Emily Lisy, published in 2006 by ELI. The book can be ordered by either calling ELI at 800-433-5120 or logging on to the ELI website at http://www.eli.org.]

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