"We wanted a process that could help people envision their conservation future," notes DNR biologist and project manager John Pohlman.
"We wanted to inventory the land and gather the expertise of a wide variety of people who know this state as farmers, biologists, community planners, outdoor enthusiasts, professional land managers and family caretakers.
"The public and DNR
staff repeatedly noted land use trends that concerned them," Pohlman
continued, "pressures brought on by growing numbers of people and changing development patterns.Land uses change when family farms and woodlots are developed for homes, industrial forests are sold and divided, and our developed infrastructure spreads farther and farther into our rural countryside."As noted in the Foreword, "We need to build houses, roads, schools, industrial structures, commercial districts, and the many other facilities that support our growing population and expanding economy.But we must ensure that our developed infrastructure does not impair either our environment or our farm, forest, recreation, and tourism industries."Given the rapid changes confronting the state, it makes sense to consider what lands should be protected.
"We were directed to take a fresh look at land protection needs to revitalize a tool that helped guide public policy more than 50 years ago," Pohlman
The maps of the different regions of the state also provide approximate locations of the Legacy Places, Pohlman
said."We wanted to focus our attention at the "big picture" perspective to highlight the general areas harboring high-quality grasslands, forests, wetlands and waters, as well as places to hike, watch birds, canoe, ride horses, fish and hunt," Pohlman