A natural resources inventory (NRI) compiles
and describes important naturally occurring resources such as forests,
wetlands, surface and ground waters, and farmland within a given locality
(e.g., municipality, watershed, or region). Cultural resources, such as
historic sites, scenic vistas, and recreation areas, are often included in an
NRI, as well. Information is usually presented in a series of maps and an
accompanying report with narrative descriptions, supporting data tables, and
recommendations. An NRI is essential for comprehensive land-use planning that
proactively considers a community's land and water resources, and provides the
foundation for open space planning and protection, zoning
updates, conservation overlay districts, critical environmental areas, and
other municipal plans and policies.
Natural Resources Inventory: A Guide for Communities in the Hudson River
Estuary Watershed was written by the NYSDEC to help municipalities pursue an
NRI by suggesting an approach, recommending components to include, explaining
why they are important, and providing sources of data and assistance. Case
studies from the Hudson Valley and strategies for using the NRI in local
planning are included. The guide was designed for use by municipal and county
officials, (e.g., conservation advisory councils and planning boards),
conservation organizations, watershed associations, and interested citizens, and
may also be useful to professional planners, consultants, and developers.
Limited paper copies are available for municipalities.