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Planning Department and Environmental Agency Work Out Land-Use Plan

Aug. 3, 2007 — Details were sketchy Friday, but a two-year memorandum of understanding between The Nature Conservancy and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources announced this week will focus on the development of a conservation strategy and action plan for the territory.
"The territory desperately needs it," said DPNR spokesman Jamal Nielsen, calling it a land-use plan.
Planning Commissioner Robert Mathes was not in the office Friday to provide more information, Nielsen said, apologizing for not being able to supply more details.
The agreement was signed July 27 by The Nature Conservancy, represented by Southeastern Caribbean Program Director Terry Williams, and DPNR, represented by Mathes. No one could be reached at The Nature Conservancy office on St. Croix for more information.
The work would by done by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with DPNR, Nielsen said.
The work will integrate conservation into all decision making, create a system of protected areas, develop guidelines for the selection, establishment and management of protected areas, and regulation and management of biological resources within and outside protected areas, according to a DPNR news release.
Nielsen faxed the memorandum of understanding to the Source. It indicates that DPNR and The Nature Conservancy have three months to come up with the terms, conditions and responsibilities of each party.
The memorandum calls for The Nature Conservancy to develop a one-year budget with details of its financial and in-kind inputs. It also indicates that DPNR will come up with a one-year budget that includes staffing needs.
The department and the environmental organization may each terminate the agreement with 60 days’ notice.
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