Municipalities are increasingly faced with balancing economic vitality with the protection of natural resources and community character. Zoning codes and land use regulations dictate how this balance can be achieved in each community. We collaborate with municipalities within our mission area, as well as government officials at the state and national level, to advocate for a balance of economic growth and protection of natural resources, as well as the protection of open space and water quality for our communities.

At the municipal level, we provide guidance and technical assistance to towns and villages as they develop their comprehensive plans and natural resource protection strategies. We advise municipalities how they can strengthen local zoning codes and land use laws to better protect natural resources, promote the preservation of community character, and incorporate smart growth principles.

Over the past decade we have been involved in the development and implementation of planning tools such as natural resource and open space inventories for the towns of Philipstown, Putnam Valley, Cornwall, and Blooming Grove, which has helped guide development and conservation decision-making in these communities. We continue to seek out new opportunities to work with municipalities on land use planning and resource protection in the land trusts mission area.

At the state and national level, we advocate for a combination of strong legislation and appropriate funding for open space and natural resource protection.

Please contact our Public Policy Coordinator, Ted Warren at with any questions on our work in this area.