SSI Team Works to Balance Growth and Conservation

Like many towns in Maine, Topsham is contending with a common dilemma: how to grow in ways that don’t diminish the very things that people cherish about their community, like open space, wildlife and special landscapes.

“There is the constant tug between conservation and economic development,” says Rich Roedner, Topsham planning director. “How do you preserve or protect resources while still providing for local growth opportunities?”

That question is at the center of an SSI research project led by UMaine wetlands ecologist Aram Calhoun. Her team is using local vernal pool conservation as a model to examine how towns can plan future development in ways that benefit people and wildlife alike. (read more…)