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Innovative Policies and Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation. Keynote Address

By Ron Sims - King County, Washington State
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King County, Washington State, USA encompasses 38 cities with 1.7 million people. Environmental services are strongly valued by the population, for aesthetic reasons, for local water services, and to protect long-important forest products and fisheries industries, and also as a major factor in attracting business to the area. The 1994 Good Management Act requires the county to develop strategy over 20 years, which would concentrate 95% of growth in the urban areas that account for a third of the land area. A variety of innovative strategies have been used to achieve this goal, including: tradeable development rights on lands valued for forests and fisheries, direct payments to landowners to maintain forest land long-term, recycling of urban biosolids in forests, promotion of forest plantations, purchase of forests considered critical to wildlife and wetlands. King County is seeking to be a model of urban growth with active forestry.