Haub School of Environment
and Natural Resources
University of Wyoming
Bim Kendall House
804 E Fremont St
Laramie, WY 82072
This section provides ideas for how public agencies can participate in local land use planning processes in conjunction with local authority and decision-making. It discusses the value and types of public agency participation, and provides examples of written agency comment to local planners and decision makers. This section also offers information about collaborative services offered by the University of Wyoming Ruckelshaus Institute and the Wyoming Agriculture and Natural Resource Mediation Program. Finally, success stories of public and private collaboration in land use planning are highlighted.
Although various federal and state agencies, local planning authorities, and individual citizens carry out the management strategies and development decisions of public and private lands, many values and goals for the land may overlap. Management and development outcomes also affect adjacent lands, whether they are publicly or privately owned. Thus, public agencies have an ongoing interest in local land use planning that affects nearby national lands.
National forests, national grasslands, and other types of federal land have social, ecological, and economic values. Amenity resources offered by a forest or grassland ecosystem may include clean drinking water and clean air; fish and wildlife habitat; livestock grazing; timber and other forest products; minerals, oil, and gas; hunting, fishing, and other recreation; open space; and aesthetic and spiritual values. The USFS August 2007 publication “National Forests on the Edge: Development Pressures on America’s National Forests and Grasslands” (www.fs.fed.us/openspace/fote) discusses potential impacts on public lands caused by increased development in areas surrounding Forest Service land.
Findings from the publication include:
Rural development, which includes roadside and home landscaping, is often correlated with an increase in invasive and non-native vegetation, which may cause impacts such as:
Land development may also compromise existing recreation access points and recreation management by:
Rural land development and subsequent population increases may also impact fire management, including:
Rural development may have hydrological implications for publicly managed lands. Water quality and hydrology impacts may include:
Rural development can have both social and economic implications for forests and grasslands that are managed by the USFS. Socioeconomic impacts may include:
Boundary management may be complicated by rural residential development. Impacts on public boundary management may include:
Finally, impacts of rural development on federal land use planning and administration are identified as:
These potential impacts on public lands resulting from local land use decision making are all reasons for public land managers to be interested, informed, and involved in local land use planning. The USFS projects that nearly 22 million acres of private, rural lands that are adjacent to national forest and grasslands, will undergo residential development by 2030. As a result, it is increasingly important for public land managers to collaborate and build working relationships with local land planners, decision makers, and private landowners.