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Moment of Silence . . .
Bill Swain, FASLA,
ASLA national president (1973-74)
and recipient of the ASLA Medal in 1980.

Bill Swain

Bill Swain, FASLA, of Monroeville, PA, passed away March 30, 2004 from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 80.

Mr. Swain studied engineering for two years at the University of Cincinnati, then went to war in Germany as a platoon leader in the 80th Infantry Division of General George Patton's Third Army. After the war, he entered Carnegie Institute of Technology on the G.I. Bill, receiving a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1952. While still a student and beginning in 1948, he went to work for landscape architect Ralph Griswold, where he learned landscape architecture on the job. Among his first projects was the land-use plan for Point State Park.

After Swain graduated, Griswold asked him to stay to help finish Point State Park. Mr. Swain designed the concrete platforms on Mount Washington and worked for two decades on the design of Point State Park, a national historic landmark.

Mr. Swain was a founding partner of GWSM in 1975, the successor to the partnership Griswold, Winters, Swain and Mullin. When Griswold retired, Swain oversaw the design of the fountain and other features west of the Portal Bridge. He also designed the marina, boat launch and parking areas at Maurice K. Goddard State Park and the Pittsburgh Riverfront and Hillside Master Plan.

He married Marjorie Page Reno Siebert in December 1957. His wife died in 1994. Mr. Swain is survived by daughters Jill Pack of North Huntingdon and Margaret Petruska, of Monroeville, and one grandson.

Contributions may be made to the American Parkinson's Disease Association.

Soil Friendly Fungi

For thousands of years, fungi in the soil have been improving water and nutrient absorption while getting rid of diseases. Phosphorus rich fertilizers increase crop yields and fight disease, but inhibit growth of fungi in plant nurseries. Fortunately, organic fertilizers don't prevent the colonization of mycorrhizal fungi, but the plants don't grow as large or as quickly. Many organic fertilizer manufacturers are instructing the use of more fertilizer for the plants to grow normally and allow mycorrhizae to thrive.

At the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon, plant pathologist Robert Linderman is studying mycorrhizial growth and other amendments nurseries add to the soil, such as peat moss and compost. Some growers are adding coir (coconut fibers). Unlike peat moss, coir has a good uniform consistency, absorbs water better, holds more nutrients and encourages mycorrhizal fungi. However, again, it doesn't produce such large plants. Compost can also be problematic. Fresh compost has a higher level of phosphorus than mature compost, but, again, too much phosphorus inhibits the fungi's growth.

Debates Over Lawn Care Fertilizer Regulations

The Madison, Wisconsin City Council has voted to ban the sale, display and use of turf and lawn fertilizers that contain more than a trace of phosphorus. The ban goes into effect January 1, 2005, but will not apply to golf courses, new lawns, park land restoration or phosphorus-deficient soil.

The Wisconsin Landscape Federation (WLF) opposed the ban.

A similar ban has met opposition in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Six regional lawn-care companies contend the ban on lawn fertilizer containing phosphorus would not solve the problem of increased nutrients in Pewaukee Lake. Charles Shong, superintendent of the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District, explains that Minnesota law specifies phosphorous content in fertilizer should not exceed three percent. In areas like the Twin Cities, fertilizers containing any traces of phosphorus are banned.

Landscapers and landscape specialists against the ban state that phosphorus from farms and from goose droppings, grass clippings and leaves contribute more to the unwanted lake nutrients than phosphorus lawn fertilizer. They also believe fertilizer helps keep nutrients out of the lake by maintaining healthy turf that acts like a sponge for other nutrients. A six-year study by Dr. Wayne Kussow, a soil researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that healthy turf reduces phosphorus runoff.

Builder Confidence
Holds Strong And Steady In May

WASHINGTON D.C.- Builder confidence in the new-homes marketplace held firm at a healthy level in May, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports. NAHB's Housing Market Index (HMI), a monthly gauge of builder sentiment, remained unchanged from April's 69 reading.

"Demand remains strong and as mortgage interest rates begin to edge up, buyers continue to move into the marketplace at a healthy clip," said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn.

The HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that NAHB has been conducting for the last 19 years. Homebuilders are asked to rate current and expected sales of single-family homes as "good," "fair" or "poor." They are also asked to rate traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." Scores for responses to each component are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index, where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

The indicator measuring buyer traffic soared to a 13-month high in May, offsetting slight declines in the two other components that comprise the HMI index. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers jumped seven points to 55, indicating significant improvement in the flow of visitors to model homes over the last month. Meanwhile, the index gauging current sales of new single-family homes fell three points to 74, while the index gauging sales expectations for the next six months declined one point to 75.

current sales of new single-family homes fell three points to 74, while the index gauging sales expectations for the next six months declined one point to 75

April New Homes Sales Drop

WASHINGTON- new home sales fell last month according to data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. The April numbers may be a signal that the country's housing boom may be coming to an end.

April sales of new U.S. homes suffered their largest monthly drop in 10 years as rising mortgage rates cooled the housing market from the previous month's record high.

New U.S. home sales fell 11.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.093 million units from an upwardly revised record high of 1.239 million in March, the Commerce Department said.

April's rate was the lowest level of new home sales since November in what is normally the peak season for real estate sales and the largest monthly drop since January 1994.

The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2004 was $221,200; the average sales price was $270,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 387,000. The drop was blamed on higher mortgage rates. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage increased to a high in April of 6.01 percent, almost a percentage point above the record low reached a year ago, Freddie Mac statistics show. The median price of a new house increased to an all-time high last month and the supply of homes rose.

April sales of new homes fell in three regions and rose in one. They dropped 22 percent in the South to 460,000 at an annual rate, 9.4 percent in the West to a 339,000 rate, and 2.5 percent in the Northeast to 78,000. Sales rose 10.8 percent in the Midwest to 216,000.

Sources:;; Reuters;

Robotic Bollards on the Run

The bollard base at right holds the robot electronics and motor, covered with the traditional orange casing. Right: The bollards line up and head off to work.

Have you always wanted a robot? Do you need to improve work zone safety? Could you use a few intelligent construction cones on a job site? Well, Shane Farritor of University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Robotics and Mechatronics lab has just what you need. His prototype robotic bollards look just like all the other normal orange safety barrels, but these can self-deploy and self-retrieve with just a minimum of human help. Controlled at a distance by a worker on a computer console, they can move independently, they can be placed in parallel, and then they be reconfigured as the work area changes.

The Nebraska team developed software that would work with an image of the site produced by a digital camera on top of the truck. Then, using coordinates, a worker in the truck can send instructions to a "bell weather," or head robot. That robot then leads all the others out and places them correctly. The head robot makes sure the others "toe the line" and can also bring in any badly behaved robots. They can even be programmed in advance. If the bollards need to be in one place before lunch, and then moved after lunch there's no need to go out, collect them all, and then rearrange them. The only difficulty may be in keeping the robots "stupid" enough so they'll be dependable. After all, it would be annoying if one were to run off someplace to start a little robotic life of its own.

Proper traffic control is very important during highway work, but accidents can still occur because of poor work zone design or driver negligence. Work on the idea began in 2002 with a grant from the National Academy of Sciences in conjunction with the Transportation Research Board. Now Professor Farritor and his team are working to get the price down, hopefully to about $200.

Moment of Silence . . .
Daniel Berry Franklin, FASLA

By Kerry Blind, FASLA

Daniel Berry Franklin, FASLA

On March 7, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia and the landscape architecture community lost Daniel Berry Franklin, who served as a master sergeant in the U.S. Army's OSS during World War II and was a landscape architect for over 40 years.

The body of Dan's work has been published in Landmark Homes of Georgia 1733-1983, The Gardens of Georgia, and Classic Atlanta--Landmarks of the Atlanta Spirit. Dan left behind over 2,000 individual gardens, and the gift of the Dan B. Franklin Scholarship Endowment Fund for the school of environmental design at the University of Georgia.

Those of us who live in the Atlanta area are privileged to have access to his notable public works: The Swan house and the Tullie Smith house at the Atlanta History Center come to mind first, but also landscapes at Barnsley Gardens, the Founder's Memorial Garden at UGA, the woodland garden at the Georgia Governor's Mansion, and "Franklin's Privy Garden," designed as an extension of his home, and features hundreds of plants and the famous "Franklin's Outhouse." The garden was listed in the Garden Conservancy's Open Days Directory-The Guide to Visiting Hundreds of America's Best Private Gardens, and included in the Atlanta Botanical Garden's "Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour" in 1986, 1996, and 2004. Since the mid-1970s, Southern Living Magazine has consistently highlighted Dan's work.

In his ASLA Fellows nomination, William Mitchell Jr., president of the Southern Architectural Foundation, Inc., observed: "Dan's professional influence, based in his native Atlanta, has been felt throughout Georgia, the South, and the nation: in his designs, his knowledge, and his advocacy."

He would bend my ear about how necessary it was for senior landscape architects, including firm principals, to be actively involved in ASLA - and he walked the walk.You may send a donation in Dan's honor to the University of Georgia's College of Environment and Design, School of Environmental Design, the Dan B. Franklin Scholarship Endowment Fund, 609 Caldwell Hall, Athens, Georgia 30602.

Student-Led Revitalization Plans Accepted

The Master Plan

Leading land-based planning and design firm, EDAW, has held a Summer Student Program every year since l980. These programs focus on bringing hundreds of students together in one of the host offices around the world to develop a master plan for revitalizing a particular area, while creating a cohesive vision for future growth opportunities. Because of the extraordinary creativity of the 2002 Summer Student Program recommendations for the Miami Civic Center area, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and University of Miami President Donna Shalala have decided to form the Miami Partnership. Combining their resources, the goal of the Partnership is taking the student's recommendations and moving them forward to implementation.

Key components of EDAW's SSP 2002 conceptual plan for the Miami Civic Center area included uncovering the hidden beauty of the adjacent waterways, creating inviting public spaces, and reinvigorating the surrounding neighborhoods. The proposal presented to civic and community leaders provided a creative and viable plan for housing, office, retail and medical uses. Natalie Topa, a planner in EDAW's Alexandria office and an SSP 2002 participant said, "Thanks to Mayor Diaz and President Shalala our vision for this area could come true."

ALSA Reveals Salaries for 2004

Washington D.C.- In a 2004 nationwide survey conducted by the ASLA, landscape architects are making 23.4 percent more that reported in the 1998 ASLA salary survey.

According to the latest survey of 2,400 firms, landscape architects are making an average of $74,644 per year. Those with zero-to-five years experience earn on average $41,803; those with 21-25 years of experience average $80,273; those with 36-40 years in the business, earn an average of $97,564.

Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president, notes that landscape architects are expanding their traditional markets to include security design; environmental mitigation; green roofs; and storm water management.

The ASLA survey tabulates 80 percent of landscape architect work in the private sector, 16 percent in the public sector, and four percent at academic institutions, figures nearly identical to the market in the 1998 survey.

Chino Landmark Awarded
Highest Green Building Honor

The IEUA headquarters integrated storm water management and planted more than 10,000 native and drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and ground cover.

Landscape architects ima+design were part of the design team that developed the environmental sustainability program for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) headquarters building in Chino, Calif., which has earned the agency a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

Only three other projects worldwide have earned the LEED Platinum 2.0 Certification, including two other California projects: the Audubon Center at Debs Park in Los Angeles, and the Natural Resource Defense Council in Santa Monica.

The award is based on the assessment of the environmental sustainability of the building design. Of the 52 LEED Platinum points earned by the two-building, 66,000 sq. ft. IEUA project, 15 were attributed to the area development plan designed by William Schulz and Ann Yamashiro Cutner of Irvine-based ima+design. Highlights of the plan include the use of reclaimed water from IEUA's treatment facilities for toilets, irrigation and exterior nonpotable water demands; stormwater treatment using biofiltration, porous concrete and pavers; and light pollution reduction.

"We hope the design of IEUA is an aesthetic and economic inspiration for all private and public development," Mr. Schulz he said.

Florida ASLA Chapter Expo Set for Daytona

The Florida Chapter of the ASLA, which represents over 800 landscape architects in the state, will hold its annual conference and expo in Daytona Beach, July 28-31. The Daytona section is the host for three days of activities, keynote speakers and educational seminars.

The conference theme is "Florida Under Siege - A Quest for Balance." The focus will be on water conservation in the landscape. Some Florida counties now have ordinances to limit turf in new housing landscapes, and strict watering regulations. Other subjects addressed will be wildfire ecology; Florida laws and regulations for landscape architects and irrigation designers; an irrigation auditor workshop; efficient irrigation design; walkable communities; and ecological design.

The conference is a great way for businesses to support ASLA and interact with landscape architects, landscape contractors, residential garden designers and irrigation designers and specifiers.

Dewberry to Plan Route 66 Improvements in Tulsa

Route 66 11th St. Tulsa's 11th Street Bridge, closed to traffic since 1976, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was recently renamed for Tulsan Cyrus Avery, known as "the father of the Mother Road."

"If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway, that's the best. Get your kicks on Route 66."

Dewberry, a Fairfax, Virginia design firm established in 1956, has been selected to provide master planning services for Tulsa, Oklahoma to improve 26 miles of historic Route 66. The 1,500-person firm does engineering, planning, architectural, program management, geographic information, and environmental services.

The project is part of the region's "Vision 2025" initiative to boost the region's tourism. Dewberry will help create long-range policies to guide and control the development of the corridor. Work will include new signage, streetscaping, lighting, and structural evaluation of the11th Street Bridge, built in 1916, the first automobile bridge to cross the Arkansas River.

Route 66, the east-west thoroughfare that meandered 2,400 miles from Chicago to L.A., was the route used by the inhabitants of the southern plains to flee the devastated land left by the dust storms of the early 1930s. During World War II, Route 66 was an important transportation link to military bases. In the booming postwar economy, Americans had the money to buy new cars and the leisure time to take road trips along the route; a service industry quickly grew to accommodate them. Today, the abandoned route and its structures engender a wistful reminder of a bygone era.

Tulsa residents have enthusiastically supported Vision 2025 to restore the section of Route 66 that runs through their community. The 11th Street Bridge, closed to traffic since 1976, is listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. The bridge's construction was instrumental in bringing the route through Tulsa. A restoration of the historic bridge is contingent on the engineering evaluation.

The National Historic Route 66 Federation will hold its annual festival in Tulsa on June 10-13, 2004.

Dewberry has 27 offices nationwide.

For more information, visit

RUSSIAN LAs Touring Calif. FIRMS

Members of the Russian landscape architecture delegation with Foothill Associates' staff after the presentation.

On March 3, 2004, Foothill Associates, a multidisciplinary consulting firm located in Rocklin, Calif., that provides services in environmental consulting, planning, and landscape architecture, hosted 11 Russian landscape architects and two interpreters for a business briefing. The visiting landscape architects are in California for a three-week tour of landscape architecture firms to gain first-hand knowledge of how U.S. landscape architectural firms operate. The visit is part of the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives in San Francisco to foster economic reform in Russia.

The Rocklin office of Foothill Associates, just northeast of Sacramento, was the venue for the three-hour visit. The Russian LAs toured the facilities and learned the functions of the different departments. Kate Kirsh, vice president and a senior landscape architect, provided an overview of how the company has grown and is managed, the geographic area it serves, the range of services it offers, company operating policies, and the technology that the company employs. Bob Schreiner, the marketing coordinator, discussed the techniques he uses to acquire new clients. This was followed by a discussion by Roy Imai, manager of the landscape architecture department, on client relations and the importance of this to the overall success of any private enterprise. Ed Armstrong, manager of the technology service department, wrapped up the evening by demonstrating CAD/GIS technology to evaluate land areas and natural resources, develop and evaluate conceptual plans, and prepare construction plans.

The Foothill Associates' staff enjoyed the cultural exchange and the insights into how the transition from a communist state to private enterprise is coming for their fellow professionals.

Complete Architecture Team
Now Chosen for the Trade Center Memorial

The twin towers before September 11.

On April 13, the architecture firm of Davis Brody Bond was chosen by the lower Manhattan Development Corporation (MDC) to work with architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, who earlier this year won a juried competition with their proposal, "Reflecting Absence" for the World Trade Center Memorial.

The MDC also approved a $45 million contract with the Gilbane Building Company to dismantle (by deconstruction rather than implosion) a 40-story building at 130 Liberty Street, which is near ground zero.

According to an environmental impact statement approved by state officials, while the purpose of the WTC memorial is to honor Sept. 11 victims and enhance the historic significance of the site, the "deconstruction" project "would also likely require removal of some remnants of the former W.T.C." The impact statement concluded that adverse impacts (including significant traffic, noise and short-term air quality) are inevitable if the significant benefits of the proposed action are to be realized.

How will the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street affect the landscape construction efforts led by design of Arad and Walker? In a statement released by MDC to the New York Times, Arad said he was fortunate to have such strong support to assist him in the complex endeavor.

Vartan Gregorian, chairman of the memorial jury, commissioned work from MDC when he was president of the New York Public Library and later of Brown University. According to Gregorian, the MDC would not do anything to scuttle the vision of Arad and Walker, adding that the MDC knows the ways of New York and how things are done.For more information about the world trade center memorial competition, including final illustrations of the winning design, log on to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's web site at

Study Finds Portland, Oregon's
Growth Strategies Containing Sprawl

WASHINGTON, D.C.- A new study appearing in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) Spring 2004 issue finds that growth management strategies used in Portland, Oregon to control urban sprawl are working.

The study's authors, Gerrit-Jan Knaap from the University of Maryland and Yan Song from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conclude that "Portland is winning the war on urban sprawl at the neighborhood scale."

"This is a lesson to other states and cities that thoughtful planning approaches carried out over time can change development patterns for the better," said Dr. Knaap, executive director of the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland.

Knaap and Song's study compared specific measurements of urban form in two Portland-area neighborhoods located in Washington County. One was Orenco Station, a "new urbanist" neighborhood near a computer plant and light rail line. Forest Glen, a neighborhood in southern Beaverton, was selected because of its composite measurements of urban form that are typical of older neighborhoods in the study area.

Portland has been recognized nationally for its innovative and cutting-edge planning efforts. For example, the Hollywood District and Sandy Boulevard area in northeast Portland received the American Planning Association's (APA) 2001 Current Topic National Planning award.

The Hollywood and Sandy Plan used innovative strategies and techniques to increase development potential for residential, commercial and mixed uses while also enhancing livability, improving pedestrian safety and ensuring adequate parking.

Since passage of Oregon's comprehensive land-use planning program in 1973 and adoption of urban growth boundaries, nearly 16 million acres of farmland and open space have been protected in the state.

Greenways Inc. Prepares
Open Space Plan for NW Vegas

Durham, N.C.- Greenways Inc., a planning and landscape architecture firm based in Durham, North Carolina, has been commissioned by the city of Las Vegas, Nevada to prepare an open space plan for the northwest region of the city, an area that encompasses approximately 50 square miles.

The northwest region of Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing communities in the United States, with a growth rate of 2,000 new residents each month. The pace of growth is creating tremendous pressure on water supply, stormwater management, transportation, and park and open space systems throughout the community. The open space plan will define a framework for protecting vital resources, ensure that there is an appropriate supply of park and open space resources for future residents, and provide a strategy for accommodating growth. The study will be completed in December 2004.

Greenways Inc., suitably named, specializes in open space, park, greenway, multi-modal trail, bicycle and pedestrian planning, design and development services. Over the past 18 years the company has provided these services to public and private sector clients in more than 100 communities and 32 states, and in Argentina, Canada and Japan.

For more information of Greenways Inc., and greenways in general, visit

APA-AICP Officers Announced

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The American Planning Association held its National Planning Conference April 24-28 in Washington D.C. As part of the conference, election results for 2004 officers were announced, and include the following:

APA President-Elect David M. Siegel, AICP; APA Director, Region II, Carol Rhea, AICP; APA Director, Region III, Mike McAnelly, FAICP; APA Director, Region IV, Bruce Knight, FAICP: APA Director at-Large, Mitzi Barker, AICP; APA Director at-Large Focused, Sherrel Cockrell. AICP President-Elect, Sue Schwartz, FAICP; AICP Commissioner, Region II, Terrance Harrington, AICP; AICP Commissioner, Region III, Michael Southard, AICP; AICP Commissioner, Region IV, Michael Wozniak, AICP.

The electees will take office on June 7.

Landscape Architect and Historian Plan to
Preserve Civi War Battle Site

Major General Joseph Wheeler Army of Tennessee Cavalry Corps.

July marks the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Brown's Mill, a Civil War cavalry fight that occurred in the forest two miles southwest of Newnan, Georgia. Last November a master plan was revealed with a proposal to distinguish one of the nation's most distinctive Civil War parks, located in Brown's Mill. Previous planners wanted to turn Brown's Mill into a passive recreation park, but public outcry prompted the new master plan, which details a proposed interpretive battlefield park.

Much of the master plan was designed in a collaboration between Anne Wilfer, senior landscape architect with Jaeger, and David Evans, Athens historian and author of the 1996 book Sherman's Horsemen: Union Cavalry Operations in the Atlanta Campaign.

The original Battle of Brown's Mill monument erected in 1908 by the Newnan Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Although an existing monument erected in 1908 by the Newman Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy marks the battle site, many Newnan residents were unaware that the Battle of Brown's Mill, where cavalry genius Joseph Wheeler achieved a victory for the Confederates was fought nearby.

In December 2002, the county purchased 104 acres (a site of the battle's most intense fighting) from a Texas Timber company. By November 2003, Evans and Wilfer had introduced their master plan to preserve the battlefield and its history. The following February the Coweta County Board of Commissioners approved the landscape design.

One element of Evans' and Wilfer's design calls to create a "regional history trail" which will appears as a small replication of troop movement into and during the Brown's Mill battle. Walking trails built on the 104-acre grounds encompass almost 250 miles of cavalry routes.

If the master plan is executed at a projected cost of $3.5 million, Brown's Mill will be the second Civil War park to replicate the grounds of a cavalry battle (Brices Cross Roads, Miss. was the first). The nonprofit Civil War Preservation Trust in February named Brown's Mill one of America's 25 most endangered battlefields. Others include part of Gettysburg, Pa.; Chancellorsville, Va.; Appomattox, Va., and Harper's Ferry, W.Va.

Source: The Atlanta Journal Constitution,

Builders Support Habitat Reform Bill-with Reservations

Don Walters Jr., president of the Northern Arizona Home Builders Association, believes the reform bill could blur important distinctions between the guidance of recovery plans and the regulation of critical habitat, such as the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl pictured above.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The nation's home builders have expressed support for the majority of the reforms in H.R. 2933, the "Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003," a conservation measure designed to ensure species' protection and accommodate the needs of the communities and states where they reside, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Not everyone agrees. Don Walters Jr., a homebuilder and developer from Flagstaff, Ariz., and president of the Northern Arizona Home Builders Association, told the House Resources Committee that while several provisions in H.R. 2933 offer a real legislative solution to critical habitat, the "requirement in the bill linking critical habitat designations to the recovery planning process may unintentionally create a new litigation threat and place a higher regulatory burden on landowners."

Testifying on behalf of the NAHB, Walters said that this designation would blur important distinctions between the guidance of recovery plans and the regulation of critical habitat. For example, he noted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has used recommendations from working drafts of the recovery plan for the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl as justification for density requirements.

Several other provisions in the bill designed to protect the environment and allow local communities to expand and thrive were endorsed by NAHB, including the exclusion of habitat conservation plans and other species management and conservation plans from critical habitat designations.

The legislation would also require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take into account the direct, indirect and cumulative economic impacts when designating critical habitat and would establish statutory definitions for two key terms relating to critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act - "geographical area occupied by the species" and "essential to the conservation of the species."

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December 6, 2019, 12:46 pm PDT

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