To Zone or Not to Zone

There are many issues involved when we are deciding how to utilize the land and our natural resources. How do we decide where to build new housing developments? How do we decide where to set aside land for wildlife and recreation? Figuring out how best to use the resources that we have for the greatest good of all, human and wildlife, can be tricky. There are many factors to consider when making these decisions. Conflicting attitudes and beliefs about how our natural resources should be used can also make coming to a decision difficult. Use Project WILD’s “To Zone or Not to Zone” to try your hand at making decisions about land-use issues. Students will simulate a meeting of a county commission and decide whether or not to rezone an 80-acre plot of undeveloped forest land for a housing development. What will they decide to do?

Extension Activities:

Have students identify a local land-use issue that affects wildlife and develop their own meeting simulation to discuss the issue.

Bring local experts on land-use to the classroom and have them discuss with students how they make the sometimes difficult decisions about zoning and land-use.

More Activities that Correlate to Land Use Planning:

Project WILD

  • Deer Dilemma- Students will simulate a town hall meeting in a community that is facing a dilemma with an overabundant white-tailed deer population. The town needs to decide how best to manage the population while considering public input and wildlife management practices. Click here for Project WILD Student Pages and WILD Work Job Profile.

Aquatic WILD

  • Dragonfly Pondevaluate the effects of different kinds of land use on wetland habitat
  • To Dam or Not to Damportray individuals representing differing perspectives and concerns related to a complex issue
  • Working for Wildlife – careers: simulated job fair and interviews

Cross-reference to these units:

Project WILD – Wildlife Management, People and Wildlife

Aquatic WILD – Iowa’s Waters, The World in a Pond, and People, Land, and Water