[MCN] PNAS - Housing growth puts squeeze on wilderness

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Thu May 12 12:12:34 EDT 2016

PNAS. January 12, 2010.
Housing growth in and near United States 
protected areas limits their conservation value.
Volker C. Radeloff, Susan I. Stewart et al.

"If long-term trends continue, another 17 million 
housing units will be built within 50 km of 
protected areas by 2030 (1 million within 1 km), 
greatly diminishing their conservation value. US 
protected areas are increasingly isolated, 
housing development in their surroundings is 
decreasing their effective size Š   "

" Š housing growth poses the main threat to 
protected areas in the United States whereas 
deforestation is the main threat in developing 

"Wilderness areas enjoy the highest level of 
protection, but that does not limit development 
in their surroundings. In 2000, 20.5 million 
housing units were within 50 km of a designated 
wilderness area (18% of all housing units in the 
conterminous United States), compared with only 
4.4 million (12%) in 1940 (Fig. 1). Wilderness 
areas also exhibited the highest housing growth 
rates in their immediate vicinity (Fig. 2). The 
number of housing units within 1 km of a 
wilderness area grew from 9,400 in 1940 to 54,000 
in 2000 (474% growth)."

Science 20 MARCH 2015. A safe operating space for 
iconic ecosystems: Manage local stressors to 
promote resilience to global change. Scheffer et 

Physics Today August 2003. The Discovery of Rapid 
Climate Change. Spencer Weart.
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