Environmental Quality: The Integration of Development and Natural Resources 710347
The applications of natural resource analysis can and should be directed to all phases of planning, including site or corridor selection, design, construction, and operation.
Based on present capability to interpret and use natural resource systems as parameters for development decisions as well as for conservation decisions, the basic strategy for perpetuating natural resource values must be to alter our conception from that of preservation vs. consumption within a specific sector to one of integration and optimizing the total system. Similarly, to allow a common base for total planning applications, the conception that natural resources have uniform requirements for protection should be replaced by the recognition that each resource system has a varying level of vulnerability and sensitivity beyond which development cannot be tolerated.
The assumption that development and protection are not, in reality, competing throughout the total environmental system is evident through the realization that resources are highly variable in composition and pattern. Optimizing each site to its intrinsic capacity will result in the complete spectrum of use and intensity with enough flexibility to accommodate growth and change.