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New Publication Encourages Involvement in Shaping Local Communities

October 26, 2016
ariel view of town
UW researchers Jeffrey Hamerlinck and William Gribb provide information to help empower Wyoming citizens to become part of the land-use planning process in their local communities, such as Buffalo. (Jess Kraft/Shutterstock Photo)

The purpose, process and benefits of local land-use planning are described in a new publication available free from the Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative at the University of Wyoming.

“Local Government Land-Use Planning in Wyoming” is the second in the Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative’s land-use planning series and provides information to help citizens join the process in their local communities.

It can be downloaded at or For a printed copy, email or call (307) 766-5146.

“The most effective land-use planning is intentional and reflects the interests of local communities and their citizens,” says UW researcher Jeffrey Hamerlinck, who wrote the publication with fellow UW scientist William Gribb.

The authors say community organizations, private businesses, nongovernmental organizations, individual citizens and others can be involved through all stages, and their input contributes to plans that represent the goals and visions of the community.

“Land-use planning is integral to creating prosperous communities by shaping how towns and counties grow and develop,” Hamerlinck says.

He says he hopes the land-use planning series prompts greater public involvement and says the new publication provides concrete examples of how proactive planning has benefited Wyoming communities.

The Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative is a collaborative effort of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center, the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, the Department of Geography, UW Extension and the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database.

The initiative supports Wyoming citizens’ conservation of open spaces through research, information, education and decision-making assistance. The research group considers agricultural sustainability, community planning and development, wildlife and related cultural, economic and environmental issues of importance in Wyoming.

For more information, email or call (307) 766-5146.

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