(re)connect : The Wasatch Front Green Infrastructure Plan

In a two-year collaborative effort between communities, counties, and State and

Federal agencies, the Wasatch Front Regional Council partnered with the Center for

Green Infrastructure Design to develop a coordinated regional green infrastructure

plan. This Plan extends across five counties and sixty-three communities in one of the

fastest growing regions in the country. Local agencies and organizations have come

together in support of this project because they see a need within the Wasatch Front

to identify and conserve the region’s most valued, functional landscapes before they

disappear due to development pressures & irreparable alterations to landscape systems.

A region-wide comprehensive plan was needed to coordinate the various existing

Federal, State and local efforts to protect natural and social features. Green

infrastructure provides this planning approach and presents guides to setting priorities,

evaluating land-use alternatives, and optimizing mitigation programs & conservation

efforts, and presents a long-term environmental sustainable vision for the Wasatch Front.

This Plan provides a visionary, regional scale map of the region that reflects both

existing green infrastructure – forests, farmlands, streams, wetlands, trails – as well as

opportunities for expansion, restoration and connections. The Plan’s criteria-driven

methodology recommends that a high priority be given to identifying and preserving

important (high quality) but unprotected lands, especially those threatened by

development, and to protecting those areas, and specifically determined scales, that

can function and provide services through restoration and management.

The Plan, a strategic approach to preserving economic services through

conservation and land-use planning, clarifies the Region’s interconnected network

structure, function and value and is a decision support tool and land protection

strategy for agencies and organizations which can guide implementation efforts.