Decades of growth throughout Arizona have impacted landscapes valued for their scenic views, sustainable wildlife habitat, and human recreation capacity. Increasingly, this land has been developed, interrupted by infrastructure such as highways and transmission lines, and lost through diversion of waterways and unsustainable groundwater pumping. Many of these losses resulted from rapid growth, but others occurred due to a lack of natural resource planning that would have balanced and managed urban growth and natural resources.
Some communities have engaged in planning activities that have resulted in the development of a jurisdiction-wide Natural Resource Conservation Plan. Qualifying plans seek to understand the context of natural resources like habitat, water, and infrastructure in order to facilitate urban growth without the unnecessary loss of important ecological assets like wildlife corridors, riparian areas, and blocks of intact habitat. Such plans can take on different titles, but they have a common goal: to map and evaluate the natural resources in the jurisdiction and reduce unnecessary negative impacts of development on important assets.
The Adoption of Regional/Municipal Resource Conservation Plans metric shows the number of adopted, qualifying conservation plans in Arizona. To qualify, a natural resource conservation plan must meet the following conditions: (1) it is developed with transparency and input from a broad set of constituents; (2) it establishes goals for ecological resource, and may include cultural resources; (3) it evaluates all lands and waters within the jurisdiction to measure benefits to resources; (4) it establishes an implementation plan for acquiring or protecting resources as required by goals; (5) it is adopted by an agency with land use jurisdiction.
This metric is updated continuously when plans are adopted and is available for counties and cities within Arizona.