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Conservation Toolkit|U.S. Forest Service | Environment and Natural Resources

Public Agency Participation in Local Land Use Planning

Value of Agency Participation in Local Land Use

The knowledge and input of public land managers and resource specialists can be important to help county officials and local citizens understand how public lands and resources support and influence the overall social, economic, and natural landscape. Public land managers can offer information and technical assistance to county officials, planning staff, neighborhood and watershed groups, and landowners. They can explain the values and pertinent issues of public lands and resources, including:

  • Fire and fuels management;
  • Wildlife habitat;
  • Water quality;
  • Transportation and access to public lands; and
  • How activities on private lands affect adjoining public lands and resources.

Although it is not mandatory that federal agencies take part in these discussions, early and ongoing participation is most effective. Many of these planning processes have several steps. The earlier information is introduced into the planning process, the better local government officials can make use of it. Opportunities for federal agency participation include:

  • Development and updating of county comprehensive plans and growth policies that set overall direction;
  • Development and updating of zoning and subdivision ordinances when overall standards and criteria become law; and
  • Individual development decisions, typically through the subdivision review process.

Participation can take the form of:

  • Written comments and maps;
  • Testimony at public hearings;
  • Information at public meetings;
  • Service on interagency coordinating groups; and
  • Service as a technical advisor to local planning groups.

The primary point of contact for federal agencies to get involved with local land use planning in Wyoming is the municipalor county-level planning office. Contact information for the statewide county planning office is found in Table 11.

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