Communities need policies to maintain their farms and forests. The importance of these lands to local economies and community resilience is well–accepted. Policies and process to ensure their longevity should be pursued. These actions help promote balanced land use policy and an atmosphere of collaboration and dialogue.
First, communities should identify lands with unique cultural and ecological values through existing conservation planning and available datasets (e.g., New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan, Vermont Habitat Blocks). Land can then be identified with plans and policies that help to ensure those values are maintained. Further, promoting communication with the local environmental community can help to ensure proposed development reflects the priorities and concerns of all.