Land use policy is a key tool for balancing the use of natural resources with the demands of a growing population.

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Land use is especially critical in the Northeast, where 23% of the U.S. population lives on only 8% of the total U.S. land area. Land use policy directly affects how we will meet the growing demands for food, feed and fuels. Indications that we need a new approach to land use are numerous -- from impacts on water quality, air quality, wetlands and wildlife habitat to the stagnation of inner cities and suburbs. The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development has contributed to this debate by publishing books and papers, organizing conferences and bringing together stakeholders through varied venues.