At one time, Jefferson County was almost entirely a resource-based economy. Our Forests, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Shellfish and Fishing are still important and must be protected and conserved so we can continue to benefit from them.
The purpose of the Natural Resource Conservation Element is to identify specific criteria, uses and development regulations to classify and protect Jefferson County’s natural resource lands.
These are the goals related to natural resource conservation in the Comp Plan:
1. Encourage the conservation of resource lands and the long-term sustainable use of natural resource-based economic activities throughout Jefferson County.
2. Encourage resource-based economic activities which are compatible with environmental quality.
3. Conserve and protect Forest Resource Lands for long-term economic use.
4. Minimize potential conflicts between forest management activities and land use activities within or adjacent to designated forest lands.
5. Encourage the continuation of forestry on lands which are not designated as commercial forest resource lands.
6. Conserve and protect Mineral Resource Lands for long-term economic use.
7. Provide for mitigation of potential adverse impacts associated with mining extraction and processing operations.
8. Ensure that County mineral resource lands are restored to safe and useful condition with enhancement and mitigation of damage to the function and aesthetics of the environment and subsequent land uses.
9. Preserve water resource quality and quantity in the regulation of mineral extraction activities.
10. Conserve and protect the agricultural land base and its associated economy and lifestyle.
11. Conserve and protect aquaculture lands and associated facilities in order to ensure a long-term commercial and recreational resource base.