Protect Goal

ProtectProtect and restore critical natural resources to ensure a resilient environment that supports healthy communities.

Objectives Recommendations Metrics

Why it Matters

The county's natural environment is integral to the high quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors and serves as a foundation for our vibrant economy. Protecting woodlands, streams, wetlands, riparian buffers, groundwater, floodplains, soils, and wildlife habitat provides significant and wide-ranging benefits.

Natural resources are essential to our health and well-being. Appropriate stewardship practices provide clean air, potable water, and a safe food supply for communities. Trees and woodlands provide shade, capture stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, mitigate urban heat islands, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and provide wildlife habitat. Nature preserves, state forest lands, parks, and trails provide opportunities to enhance our physical and mental health.

A healthy environment and unimpaired natural resources are crucial elements of the county's economic well-being. Raw materials from nature are necessary for the production of many goods. Businesses require a reliable supply of water. Food production, a major component of the county's economy, depends on healthy soils. Businesses and their employees greatly value the natural and scenic beauty of the county, as well as our many parks and recreation areas.

Natural resource based planning considers the location of resources first and then plans around them. Comprehensive and coordinated planning and implementation for protection of natural resources can guide development away from critical natural areas, minimize impacts on environmentally sensitive resources, and mitigate impacts that do occur, helping to ensure overall environmental and community health.

Metrics to Measure Success