The Patterns of a Conservation Economy
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Buffer Zones
Examples of this pattern in action:

Riparian Buffer Zones
A healthy riparian buffer zone consists of a complex community of plants providing both overstory and understory for complex communities of insects, birds, fish and mammals. Can this be done in 35 feet? Is it no wonder that we no longer have a viable steelhead population or salmon in the Napa River? California's riparian forests support a greater number of bird species than any other habitat type. Many bird species are threatened with extinction because of the losses of up to 95 percent of riparian vegetation in the Western U.S. The Ecopreserve on the Yountville Crossroad adjacent to the Napa River is an example of a healthy riparian habitat. In Napa County, protection of riparian wildlife depends on property owners managing their land with care.

Organizations whose work incorporate this pattern:


Clark, T.W and S.C. Minta. Greater Yellowstone's Future: Prospects for Ecosystem Science, Management and Policy. Homestead Press. Moose, WY. 1994.

Kempf, Elizabeth, ed. Law of the Mother: Protecting Indigenous People in Protected Areas. Sierra Club Books. San Francisco, CA. 1993.

Knight, R.L., eds and P.B. Landres. Stewardship Across Boundaries. Island Press. Washington, DC. 1998.

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Pattern Index

A Conservation Economy

Social Capital

Fundamental Needs

Subsistence Rights

Shelter For All


Access To Knowledge


Social Equity


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Preservation

Sense Of Place

Beauty And Play

Just Transitions

Civic Society

Natural Capital

Ecological Land-Use

Connected Wildlands

Core Reserves

Wildlife Corridors

Buffer Zones

Productive Rural Areas

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Fisheries


Compact Towns And Cities

Human-Scale Neighborhoods

Green Building

Transit Access

Ecological Infrastructure

Urban Growth Boundaries

Ecosystem Services

Watershed Services

Soil Services

Climate Services


Economic Capital

Household Economies

Green Business

Long-Term Profitability

Community Benefit

Green Procurement

Renewable Energy

Sustainable Materials Cycles

Resource Efficiency

Waste As Resource

Product As Service

Local Economies

Value-Added Production

Rural-Urban Linkages

Local Assets

Bioregional Economies

Fair Trade

True Cost Pricing

Product Labeling