ENS 696-Sec.2     EST 496- Sec.1
Tu/Thur 11:00 to 12:20       Room  Bray 313         last updated  11/28/06

 Professors  R. Smardon and J. Felleman

"Open Space"  is  a phrase used in the popular media for issues ranging from  protecting endangered species to managing suburban sprawl. The foucus on this course is the protection and enhancement of regional and subregional natural environmental systems that typically are overlayed with a complex of ownership, jurisdictional, and regulatory layers. This course will address such management and policy issues as Open Space preservation, Greenway planning, developing scenic byways and waterways, land use amenity management, land trust and conservancy activity, biosphere reserve management, and local development review.  Major course themes include:

  * Multi-Use Functional concepts of  "Open Space" with an emphasis on the landscape scale;

  * Policy and Management Aproaches for planning, aquisition, and management including : property ownership. taxation, development regulations, and  public participation; and

   * Intergovernmental, and Public/Private Institutional Collaborations
The course will emphasize a case -study approach drawing on a spectrum of public, private, and NGO  experiences.A Regional Open Space student team project will be utilized for groundinng many of the concepts covered in the course. Two Saturday morning field trips are scheduled.

The course will  introduce many new terms and concepts. It is particulary important for the exam and projects that students maintain an on-going working glossary. To facilitate this, after each lecture the Course Web Page will be updated to list terms for which the students are responsible.

Resources                          Schedule                  Grading

The course will evolve as the semester develops. It is important for students to periodically check this web page for updates. Required readings are identifed in the Schedule below. They will include: Handouts, Moon Library Reserves; and Web Pages . There will also be reference materials  available in  Moon Library on Reserve , and on the Internet.  Students will also make use of public documents in the Mulroy County Office Building and old County Court House downtown, as well as agency and organizational resources in the class project setting.

The 9 Mile Creek case study  35%
Open Space Policy Issue Briefing paper  30%
Salmon River Poster   35% (grad. students will write a 6-8 pg. paper to accompany their poster)

DRAFT  Schedule  

 Class  Date                                        Topic/ Instructor  Readings/
 1  T  8/ 29   Introduction and Overview:
     Population,  Development and Sustainability   RS/JF
 Power Point
 2  Th   31  Open Space Functions-Natural and Socio-Economic 
 3  T   9/ 5
 Actor/Stakeholder Framework-   JF  Readings
Assignment 1
                        LAND OWNERSHIP
 4  Th    9/7   Public Ownership -   RS
 Power Point: Federal, State Programs
 5  T     9/12   Real Property: Divisible Rights Bundle -  JF

  Th   9/14
 Real Property:  Chain of Title; Deeds - JF  

* Handout  Op. Sp.-Parcel Project
9 Mi- Web
  T      9/19   NGO’s and Open Space-    RS Readings
 8  Th     9/21  Overview of 9 Mi. Creek Case Study-  RS Readings
  Sat  9/16 
  8:30-12 noon
  Nine Mile/Camillus Valley Field Trip-   RS
   T      9/26    NO CLASS
10  Th    9/28  Real Property: Taxes -    JF  Readings

 T     10/3
 Municipal Planning and Zoning -   JF  Readings
12  Th   10/5  Subdivision Regulations; Site Plan Review -   JF  Readings
13  T     10/10  Environmental Regulatory Programs- "Taking Issue"   RS

14  Th   10/12   State/Federal Support Programs -   RS   Readings
  T  10/17
  all day teach-in

                        Salmon River Corridor

16   Th  10/19   Salmon River Project – Overview     RS/JF   Web Resources
17   Sat   10/ 21 
 *** Salmon River Field Trip RS/JF
    Tom's Trip slides

 Th   10/26
   Revitalization Planning for Onondaga Cr.- R.S
 Web Readings
19  T      10/31    Michelle Peach
 The Nature Conservancy -  Power Point
 Web Reeadings

 Th 11/2
   NO class
  T  11/7
   Poster Layout/Design

 D. Forness' 2004 DEC Power Point

 Th    11/9    No Class
 T   11/14     Jonathan Kanter
  Ithaca Town Planner
 Web Reading
22  Th    11/ 16     Prof. Diane Kuehn
    Social Science in Managing Open Space Users ppt

                   Emerging Issues
23  T  11/21    Sustainability and Biodiversity:
   N. America v. Europe       RS

24  T  11/28   Jennifer Caddick- Save the River, and
   Aaron Vogel- 1000 Islands Land Trust

25  Th   11/30   International Natural Area Management    RS
26  T    12/5 Mexican Biosphere Reserves    RS  
27  T    12/7  Last Class- Issue Paper Round Table
 *Issue Papers due


 Finals Week

 ***Poster Presentations-   

Moon Reserves 2006
these are filed under : Felleman- ENS 696 Open Space

Randolph. Env. land Use Planning and Management  (Tof C handed out first class)

Gustanski. Protecting the Land: Conservation Easements

TPL and LTA. Conservation Easement Handbook 1988

LTA. Model Conservation Easements 1996 update

TPL-LTA. Stds and Practices Guidebook- Land Treusts

Readings 2006

Class 1
Here are some overview readings for the topics of the first lecture. They will be discussed briefly at the start of class 2.
Go to the full text e-journal page at SU libraries:
       In the Journal: Landscape and Urban Planning, v. 69, n. 2-3, Aug. 2004, download and review:

Urbanization on the US landscape: looking ahead in the 21st century ARTICLE
Pages 219-234 Ralph J. Alig, Jeffrey D. Kline and Mark Lichtenstein

Public policies for managing urban growth and protecting open space: policy instruments and lessons learned in the United States ARTICLE Pages 271-286
David N. Bengston, Jennifer O. Fletcher and Kristen C. Nelson

Class 2
Print out the ICUN Open Space Funtions power point and bring to class #2:
Open Space Funtions PP

Briefly Read   Fabos. J. Gy 1995. Introduction and overview: The greenway movement:

uses and potentials of greenways, In Landscape and Urban Planning
33(1995)pp.1-13 for North American Perspective on reserve in Moon (and
class hand out).

Briefly Read   Smardon, R.C. 2004. Conservation stratigies, ecological design,
community participation in North American and European urban ecosystems.
Paper presented at Goettingen University Germany Oct. 2003. ( class
handout). and browse:

WEB:  also for international perspective

Class 3:        Handout:

            Felleman, Deep Information Ch. 2,3.

Class 4
Moon reserve
skim WWF. State Wetlands Strategies, pp. 73-137 in
Read NYSDEC 1994. Local Open Space Planning , pp. 85-104

WEB:go to and read Smardon and Karp. 1992. The Legal
Landscape, Chapter 9 Natural Area Protection
Class 5
    FGCC Handout Ch. 4
Web: Not everyone likes the rapid growth of conservation easements. For the opposing viewpoint check out the materials at the Property Rights Foundation of America:

Class 6
     FGCC Handout Ch. 5

Class 7
Go to the Land trust Alliance's (LTA) web site at then go to Professional Focus then hit : New IRS requirements for easement donations then hit:  Resoures for implementing Land Trust Standards and practices
    then go to and download pdf of "reivised Land Trust Standards and Practices"


    Town of Camillus:

    Town of Marcellus:

For 10 years or so, the ‘promise’ has been that user friendly digital information available on the Internet will greatly enhance informed environmental discourse and public decision making. Slowly this ideal is emerging. Currently DEC, and EPA have prototype systems working in-house for their staffs that may become public in the next year or so. In the meantime we need to do some exploring. The sites below are frequent starting points.



            Digitally corrected (so you can make horizontal measurements) aerial images that show surface features in great detail. Often “false color” is applied to the infra-red emissions/reflections  so we can visualize vegetative health. 

            NY State GIS Clearinghouse:

                 >Ortho Imagery      read the page,  record date of County info.

                 >View Ortho Imagery      keep clicking zoom , or type in a large map scale and progressive zoom maps will ultimately change to orthos


The USGS has been leading the effort to create the “National Map”- which is actually a diverse collaboration of public and private data sharing.

Go to:

        > MicroSoft’s Terra Server has scanned, panable/zoomable USGS topo maps, and air photos

        Also check out MapTech, TerraFly and the other partners


Syracuse-Onondaga Co. GIS is on the Web:


            Carefully read the “Disclaimer”. If you are unfamiliar with GIS got to

            “Learn more about GIS at the page bottom”

           > Accept


tax parcels, Ortho photos, soils, flood plain lots of potentially good stuff here, but files are large:

Sometimes this system is “maxed out” and just stops….


US Census:

            >On-Line Mapping  >American Fact Finder

            Enter zip code or municipality and state.  Examine the census tract data and maps available (zoom, scroll…)


US EPA has spent considerable effort building a robust “data warehouse for its wide spectrum of information holdings. The EnviroMapper Store Front is the typical gateway for the public:

            Lots of potentially useful info- here from Toxic releases to water quality and environmental justice. It takes a bit of navigation.


US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Mapper: USFWS- Wetland Maps

There is a brief tutorial here. Note map scale.


Cornell University, Like the NYS GIS Clearinghouse above, maintains a robust GIS data warehouse for NY State: “CUGIR”:

But, you need a GIS to “see” and analyze the data sets….

Class 10

The New York State Office of Real Property Services web site is designed to support local assessors and the general public.
Read the "Real Property Tax Primer"
        and Agricultural Assessment:
 Familiarize yourself with the site by finding and reviewing information related to: tax mapping system; assesing residences; and open space related tax exemptions

additional web resources:

 The Lincoln Land Institute is a leading applied research center that focuses on landuse and taxation.
One of their recent papers is:

A Methodology for Valuing Town Conservation Land
Author(s)/Editor(s): Brown, Pamela J. and Charles J. Fausold
Publication Type: Working Paper

The Property Rights Foundation of America has been particularly interested in controlling open space tax exemptions in NY:

Donation of conservation easements "may" also qualify for a federal income and estate tax reduction but there have been abuses of this incentive:,,id=124485,00.html

Class 11 Planning-Zoning
Moon Library reserve:
Randolph, Environmental Land Use Planning and Mangement has been placed on course reserve.
Pace Law School,
Open Space Preservation

In New York State the Pace U. Law School has long had an evironment and landuse focus. Review the resources on their website:
    read their "Comprehensive Planning" document:

Check out an excellent new state on-line resource - "Zoning School":
A key reference for open space planning in NYS is at this web site and can be easily downloaded as a pdf./ web site is This provides a good overview

Class 12 Subdivision- Site Plan Approval
    Go to Pa.'s  "Growing Greener" homepage:
     Download and print the pdf "Program Details" file

Planning quality in NYS is highly variable. Rhinebeck, in the mid-Hudson valley, is often used as an exemplar community in terms of process and substance. Check it out at:     in particular, review the "buildout analysis".

Class 13  Taking Issue
     Read the US constitution's Bill of Rights (first 10 ammendments) with aprticular attention to the 5th:

Regulatory Taking is a long term, highly devisive issue.

The Cato Institute is a major conservative think tank. Read:

An overview of "takings' and "wise use" movements can be found at:

Class 16
Thompson (1966). The Geography of New York State, is on permanent reserve in moon. (An updated version is in press).
    Some initial web sites:
         Color state landform map:
         SeaWay Trail
         Land First Realtor
        Oswego Co.
          Tug Hill Commission
          Douglaston Manor

Class 18- Onondaga Cr.
 Go to the College's Onondaga Cr. site:
    and check out the utilizationof the Internet to encourage/facilitate public participation in open space planning.

. 19- The Nature Conservancy
  Look over: TNC CAP Basic Practices v 17 Jun 05.pdf
                 and : Salmon River workshop descriptions.htm

20- Posters
Lot's of web pages about poster design, however many focus on research poaters. A basic site with solid info is:

Posters are a graphic medium, however student posters often incorporate only a narrow range of possible graphic types. To get some ideas take a look at:

21- Ithaca Plan
(From Jon Kanter):There are a few things on the Town's website that might be interesting for the class to look at before class:
     Under the "What's New" tab: "Zoning Ordinance" - Look at the Conservation Zone and Agricultural Zone;
    Under the "Information" tab: Look at the "Agricultural Conservation" section;
    Under the "Departments" tab: Look at the "Parks & Recreation" section, esp. "List of Town Parks & Trails".

The Town's website is: 

Terms/Concepts 2006

Lec. 2

Open Space

Alig et al.:
  Open Space Trends
   Data sources:
       U.S. Census- urbanization
       U.S.D.A.- National Resources Inventory

Bengston et al.:
Growth management
<>   4 basic public policy approaches ("instruments"):
        Public Ownership/management
         (Economic) Incentives/disincentives
         Information (research, education)

    5 Major Lessons learned
        Lack of Evaluations
        Complementary packages
        Vertiacal/Horizontal coordination
        Stakeholder participation

   Greenway  movement

 IUCN Open Space Functions:

  Regulation (of Natural Systems):

  Habitat functions:     

Production (for human consumption) functions:

(Human) Information (and Non-Consumptive Use) functions:

Class 3

   US government:
        3 branches- checks and balances
  formal (incorporated)   not for profit organizations (non governmenta,l, NGO)  

traditional, pyramidal bureaucratic organizations:
     funtional (horizontal) division of responsibilities (divisions, agencies, bureaeaus..)
     vertical layers of scope authority:
            startegic, tactical, transactional

deep information

informal (ad-hoc) organizations (such as some NIMBY groups)

Class 4
 Federal/state land ownership is no a simple one layer deal - maybe several layers of rights including subsurface mineral rights and leasing for timber, grazing or recreational development

National Wilderness System:
there are different types of wilderness designations: eg roadless area, wilderness and Wilderness there is an administrative and Congression routes to designation there have been supremem court cases affecting : "rules of entrance", and "compatibility of use"

National Trails Systems Act:
Applachian Trail only complete national trail underfunded and lack of condemnation authority solved by Carter administration in 1983 many state trail systems as well

National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act:
reaction to dams and water resource development zones rivers into wild, scenic and recreational mgmt zones many states have their own systems

Specific land area management by federal legislation
Examples: Southern California Desert Conservation Area, Lake Tahoe Compact and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area- last is example of hand down of power from federal to state to local government Adirondack Park in NYS ; example of zoning  for use intensity

State open space programs using NYS :
aquisition in fee simple of less than fee simple (easement) wetland preserves like Hamlin Wetland Preserve in North Syracuse also use of Environmental Bond Act monies to acquire open space at Federal level there is Land and Water Conservation fund

Other open space  protection mechanisms include:
regulation - like wetland permit programs Incentives and disincentives - like forest land tax abatement

Classes  5 and 6
Public Authority (hybrid gov. agency and private corp.)

       "bundle" of real property ownership rights- basic categories (from readings and lecture)       
        fee simple concept
         "infinitely divisible"-
                   who-  types of owners
                   when-  duration of ownership
                   what-  portions of rights "Bundle"
                   where -
            life estate
                easement appurtenant
                easement in gross
            conservation easement- development rights
     role of county clerks
     public record systems related to real property (the cadastre)
            chain of title
            Grantor-Grantee index
parts of a deed (handout as ammended in class)
        parcel location:
            fixed and movable boundaries
            "strip descriptions"
            public land survey           
            subdivision plat

Class 7 NGOs
NGO acquisition tools include: conservation easements, donation/bargain sales, options, rights of first refusal, pre-acquisition and limited or controlled development

Ngo's also play a role in regulation/planning as a "watch dog" or in partnerships with other organizations

Corporations also get involved thru entities such as the CCC Corporate Conservation Council

Technical assistance provided by such organizations as Land Trust Alliance is key to local Land trust/NGO's

Some NGO's are involved with education and outreach (Centers for Nature
education)  and Research (Montezuma wetlands alliance)

Big International NGO's (BINGO's) are orgs like WWF, Wetlands International and Conservancy International that are increasing  controlling program direction and emphasis down to the local level

NGO's , if incorporated, must register with  IRS and state with a charter for non profit status as a 501(c)(3).

Increasing scrutiny and NGO malfeasance have caused recent changes in both how NGO's do business (e.g. LTA Principles and standards)  and decisionmaking responsibility of board members.

A key issue with Local land trusts is obtaining reduced property taxes on bought or gift property - otehr wise they could not afford to exist.

Besides acquiring property - NGO/land trusts have to steward/maintain these properties - they don't     manage themselves. Key issues include:
    appraisal practice and property acquisition negotiations (how much is it really worth)?
    Monitoring to ensure it says in good shape; Multiple party management if there are multiple          stakeholders/interests; and Management enforcement action if needed  for fee simple property:
    illegal dumping, timber harvesting or vandalism
    water level /hydrologic management
    nuisance/exotoc species management
    maintaining structures and access
Management action for easements also need intensive monitoring and enforcement

Class 10-  Real Property Taxes

        "ad valorem" tax
          full market value
          assessed value as a standard % of full market
          tax rate         
          NYS Office of Real Property Services:

                tax maps
                unique parcel identification numbers (municipality-section-block-lot) PIN
                multi-jurisdictional "equalization rates"
           state constitutional full exemptions
           state law partial exemptions:
                permissive- local approval
                open space examples :
                    managed forests, wildlife mangement areas, agricultural districts  
            municipal open space bond referendums

<>Classes 11 and 12
       Police Powers: what, who
       origins of building and land use controls, late 1800's- early 1900's
       Traditional zoning-specification standards:
             districts (zones), permitted uses, lot size/density/height /site coverage/ yards
       municipal actors: legislature, planning board, zoning board of appeals
       innovative zoning:
          cluster development
          overlay zones
          floating zones:
locaction requirements, performanace standards, negotiated site plan approval
           decision process diagram
          ownership of open space ?- municpal; Home Owners Association,; NGO....

Readings 2004


         Color state landform map:
         SeaWay Trail
         Land First Realtor
        Oswego Co.
          Tug Hill Commission
          Douglaston Manor

Class #26
Here are some of the sources refrred to in class:
ESRI, The largest GIS software enterprise has lots of educational materials on its site, including this basic intro:
at an intermediate level, on-line "virtual campus" training includes modules such as "Conservation GIS":

IDRISI, the major raster teaching software used at ESF (and widely used around the world in natural resources management) , has many examples of comprehensive analysis and decision-support  applications:

NASA has an intro to Remote Sensing:

The Federal Government has been inching along for two decades to provide "ClearingHouse" fucntions:
and,eventually, "The National Map":

New York State has not been in the forefront of state/local data sharing. This is in large part due to copyright and economics. Note the "Data Sharing Cooperative" at the Clearinghouse:
The Adirondack Park Agency has the difficult challenge of doing large scale planning and site scale development regulation. It's in  about the fourth generation of GIS management: 

 Ehler's Land Steward software, a user friendly graphical interface database system created by grants from Environmental Foundations, is recommended on the Land Trust Alliance Home page:

  Terms and Concepts 2004


Class #13
Student s should be able to give examples of:
        tidal/nontidal wetlands reglation - state and federal
        point and  nonpoint source programs
        floodplain management programs
        shoreline management programs
plus certification programs liks section 401 of the Clean Water Act
plus informqational program like NEPA and state mini-NEPA's

history of taking issue plus early history of wetland regulation
culminating in Lucas case In SC- what were the issues and outcomes?
also two cases affecting partial takings/project review  in California:
issues and outcomes

Class #14
Student should be able to give examples of each of the following:

    wildlife habitat programs
    parks and recreation programs
    natural areas acquisiton programs
    statewide land use plans
    special area plans

restoration, creation and management
    wildlife enhancement programs
    water quality programs
    public land management

incentives and disincentives
    tax incentives
    registration programs

technical assitance, eduaction and outreach
    local government assitance programs
    landowner assistance programs
    environmental education curricula