Biodiversity Conservation Handbook: State, Local, and Private Protection of Biological Diversity. Robert B. McKinstry, Jr., Coreen Ripp, and Emily Lisy, eds. 2006. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC. 651 pp. $49.95.
This book, with a subtitle describing its focus on state, local, and private protection of biological diversity, begins by discussing international protocols on biodiversity. It also contains much discussion on federal programs, but this seemingly contradictory approach is quickly explained. Indeed, the international protocols have taken into account the types of concerns often voiced at the local level and provide a useful framework for establishing programs that fit into local land use regulatory regimes. The US approach, which defers so heavily to local governments in the land use arena, is not necessarily an excuse for ignoring biodiversity considerations, as this book so ably points out. First, the various federal grant and permitting programs are often administered by the states or in partnership with the states. Second, there are ample tools in most states that concerned local governments can use to take biodiversity into account in their land use decisions. This book provides a wealth of information on the tools that state and local governments can use to discover, understand, conserve, and sustainably use biodiversity.