within the Intermountain West Region are losing
their identity, purpose, and sense of place at an alarming rate.
Their are many
reasons for why this is occurring, some of which
are, the loss of agricultural lands to residential developments
the loss of valuable wildlife habitat, and the
loss of natural ecosystems ’ ability to function properly.
These issues are not
only difficult to address, but expensive as
well. This is why the Rural Intermountain Planning
Program (RIPP) was created. Under the direction
Cooperative Extension, the program provides
expertise from an interdisciplinary group of
experts to assist, and advise rural communities
with decisions related
to environmental planning and design.
to its’ affiliation with the University, Utah
State University Cooperative Extension has access to a tremendous
collection of resources. With these resources the program can
effectively address issues facing rural communities. Some of
these issues include the following:
- Environmental Planning
- Community Design
- Wildlife Preservation and Design.
- Green Space Preservation and Design.
- Public Education about:
Urban Transition Zones
Wise Use of Natural Resources.
Given that the needs of every
community differ greatly RIPP deals with issues not only on the
rural community scale but at the regional scale as well.
A Board of Directors provides
insight and vision to the program while an interdisciplinary “think
tank” investigates new research opportunities. The majority
of projects undertaken include outreach projects, research, government
funded service projects, educational conferences and seminars,
on-line education, and published literature.
With the ever
present pressures of expanding populations and
commerce, even rural communities can not afford
to overlook the importance of smart growth. Funding
and support for smart growth projects, however
is not easily obtained, limiting the number of
potential projects a community can implement.
RIPP can assist these communities by providing the following:
- General Master Plans
- Zoning Plans
- Expansion Feasibility Evaluations
- Land Development
with the Utah
Botanical Garden Staff, USU
Extension Horticulturists, and the Utah
Water Conservation Center, RIPP provides
design services for projects such as community
gateways, streetscapes, parks and open spaces,
habitat restoration, public buildings and gardens,
and downtown community restorations.