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SG-W:/ Fwd: Eco-Compass--Sprawl Watch, July 26, 1999

The devoted among you may want to get this newsletter.


---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date:        07/26  3:57 PM
Received:    07/27  9:36 AM
From:        Island Press, info@islandpress.org
To:          islandpress-l@igc.org

This week Eco-Compass introduces a new feature. Periodically 
we will distribute electronic resources from select 
environmental information providers.

We start with SPRAWL WATCH, the new on-line newsletter devoted 
to the latest news and research on sprawl, smart growth and 
livable communities. SPRAWL WATCH is produced by the 
Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse, http://www.sprawlwatch.org,
a resource center which provides information, advice, and 
referrals on issues related to sprawl, smart growth and 
livable communities.

Volume 1, Number 7 - July 26, 1999

= = =State and Local News = = =
The Bay Area Transportation and Land Use Coalition a coalition 
of more than 50 regional transportation, environmental, 
business and social justice groups announced a campaign to 
promote 'smart growth' policies at the local and regional levels 
throughout the Bay Area.  The coalition plans to influence the 
expenditure of billions of state and federal transportation 
dollars that the organizations see as crucial in their ongoing 
efforts to halt suburban sprawl.

Urban sprawl and new farming techniques, including more 
reliance on pesticides, have reduced the Georgia's quail habitat 
and food supply. As a result, Georgia's quail population has 
declined more than 70 percent in the past 30 years. Quail are 
considered an indicator species -- a barometer of the 
ecosystem. When quail have problems, other creatures that 
share their habitat have problems.  Wildlife officials hope they 
can reverse the trend this fall when  they kick off a pilot 
program known as ``Georgia's Bobwhite Quail Initiative.'' 
It will offer incentives and cost-sharing payments to 
landowners who agree to provide quail habitat.

The newly formed Maine Farmland Trust is the first and only 
land trust in Maine dedicated to protecting the state's 
productive agricultural land. Farmers, concerned citizens, 
representatives from land trusts and state officials formed the 
trust, which is currently seeking nonprofit status and 
developing a fundraising strategy. 
Contact: Frank Miles, (207) 767-1031.

Tradition Community Development Corp. recently announced plans 
for a $1.7 billion planned community on 4,600 acres in 
Mississippi's Harrison County, 12 miles north of the Gulf Coast.   
"Tradition is the solution to unchecked sprawl", said Michael 
Olivier, executive director of the Harrison County Development 
Commission. "Harrison County will continue to grow regardless 
of Tradition. The issue is whether we are going to grow in an 
orderly fashion or have haphazard growth that sprawls across 
the county leading to groundwater pollution and other problems." 
The Mississippi Department of Economic and Community 
Development (MDECD) is providing $20 million in infrastructure 
(Becky Gillette, Mississippi Business Journal, July 1999)

Utah and Wisconsin
Salt Lake City has two thousand workers pouring concrete around 
the clock, turning six lanes of I-15 into 12 lanes through 
Salt Lake City and its suburbs.  When the $1.6 billion expansion 
is completed in two years, state officials say, they will need a 
new, parallel highway to keep traffic moving along the 100 
miles of the Wasatch Front, where most of Utah's 2.1 million 
people live.  Meanwhile, Milwaukee is taking sledge-hammers to 
tear down a half-built section of highway that was supposed to 
cut right through old Milwaukee. The city plans to use more than 
$20 million in federal transportation money to carry out the 
nation's largest highway deconstruction project. 
(Timothy Egan, New York Times News Service, 7/14/99)

= = =Nationwide= = =
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said Wednesday that federal spending
restrictions would make it difficult to renew a three-year-old 
farm preservation program that helps state and local 
governments buy easements, or development rights, from 
farmers. But he plans to press on with his bill to authorize $50 
million a year for easements, under which farmers would 
continue to own land but would be barred from nonfarm 
activities. A bill by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., would offer $55 
million.  ``The Farmland Preservation Program enables producers 
facing economic uncertainty to keep their valuable land in 
production while keeping development pressures at bay,'' 
Santorum said. President Clinton requested $77.5 million for 
farm preservation in his fiscal 2000 budget.  
(7/22/99, AP, Anick Jesdanun)

On 6/29, Rep. Canady (R-FL) introduced a bill (H.R.2372) to 
create new opportunities to bring "takings" claims, wherein 
developers and other private landowners seek compensation 
for not polluting or not building on protected land. The bill 
is virtually identical to legislation (H.R.1534) passed by the 
House in 1997. It would allow developers to circumvent local 
zoning procedures to sue towns, cities, and counties for 
alleged takings directly in federal court. Sen. Hatch (R-UT) has
introduced a similar bill (S. 1028). Click on Legislative Watch at
Natural Resources Defense Council's website 

The Post Office Community Partnership Act, sponsored by Rep. 
Earl Blumenauer (D-ND) in the House and Senator Max Baucus 
(D-MT) in the Senate, requires that the Postal Service offer 
a public hearing and comment period for local residents before 
closing or relocating a post office. It also requires that the 
Postal Service consider the impact on the community of closing 
the post office, including whether the post office is part of a 
core downtown business area. 
To view the text of the bill, see the New Rules website, at:

The General Accounting Office (GAO) is in the process of 
examining, through case studies, specific smart growth 
efforts in various-sized communities around the country.  
The goal of the March 1999 request by the Senate Smart 
Growth Task Force is to obtain a better understanding
of how federal programs impact smaller communities.

= = =New Releases= = =
A new report by the Progressive Policy Institute says that 
states need to invest in the foundations of success in the 
New Economy: good public education, support for research 
and development, availability of job-specific skills training, 
good quality of life, and quality government, rather than simply 
provide corporate tax subsidies and giveaways. (AP, 07/22/99) 
The report, ''The State New Economy Index: Benchmarking 
Economic Transformation in the States'' can be found at

On July 28, Brookings Institution will release a report on 
growth's impact on social, economic, and demographic trends 
in the Washington area.  The report, "A Region Divided: The 
State of Growth in Greater Washington, D.C.", shows that this 
is a region divided, with too much growth in some areas and 
too little in others. This imbalance creates challenges for all 
the communities and residents of this area. At this forum, 
local leaders will react to the Brookings report, the positive 
and negative consequences of growth, and ways to bridge the  
region's division.

"The Debate Over Future Density of Development: An Interpretive 
Review" -- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy 
Working Paper 1999, 29 pages.

Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy release "Two Roads 
Diverge: Analyzing Growth Scenarios for the Twin Cities". 
The study addresses the following issues: How should the region 
accommodate its inevitable growth? Can the region grow and 
retain its unique character at the same time?  What are the 
costs and benefits to the region of sprawling and smart growth;
The web site includes the study's full report and six supporting 

The Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse is a resource center which 
provides information, advice, and referrals on issues related 
to sprawl, smart growth and livable communities. The 
Clearinghouse helps advocates, grassroots organizations, 
public officials, developers, planners, policymakers, 
architects and others revitalize existing communities and
reduce urban sprawl. Support for Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse 
is provided by the Turner Foundation, Inc., The David and Lucile 
Packard Foundation and the Surdna Foundation.

= = = = = = = =
If you wish to join the Sprawl Watch mailing list, 
send your request to <allison@sprawlwatch.org> 
using the precise following language. 

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subscribe <emailaddress> from Sprawl Watch newsletter. 

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Eco-Compass by Island Press
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