Ecosystem Service Planning
Friday, November 4, 2016
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. CDT
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Every day, planners balance the needs of social, ecological, and economic systems. The resilience of one system is tied to the resilience of all. Ecosystem services are benefits we receive from functioning ecological systems that ensure we have food to eat, water to drink, and natural areas for recreation. This panel suggests how ecosystem service considerations can be better integrated into the planning process; why it is crucial to engage in long term land management of natural areas for ecosystem service benefit; and, how we can facilitate resilient planning through ecosystem service transactions. Coyne introduces ecosystem services through the lens of planning and uses three projects from Texas and Louisiana to demonstrate ways of integrating ecosystem service considerations into the planning process at regional, city, and site-specific scales. Ogren assesses the contribution of conservation lands and natural areas to ecosystem services. He discusses the state-wide impact of land trusts and other entities’ in conserving vital natural resources. At the regional level he discusses the cooperation between San Antonio citizens and rural landowners to protect water supplies and compensate land owners for conserving land. And, at the local level he critiques management of urban natural areas with a focus on the Ann and Roy Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake in Austin and addresses how we might evolve management to acknowledge the substantial value and services natural areas provide our communities. Blackburn discusses using ecosystem services to facilitate restoration and conservation that solves large-scale problems - mitigating climate change, reducing flood damage, enhancing water supplies, and conserving fish and wildlife, as well as how the restoration of these systems will bring increased economic resilience. He details the Texas Coastal Exchange, a program to expedite voluntary ecosystem service transactions to achieve ecological and economic resiliency.
Michael McAnelly, firstname.lastname@example.org