1 <h5>Introduction</h5> Conserving biodiversity entails many diverse activities including site selection and design, conservation planning, land protection, and in many cases, long-term management. The scientific literature has focused considerably on management issues, particularly because many agencies and organizations have now embraced ecosystem and multiple-use management ( Hansen et al., 1993 ; Christensen et al., 1996 ). Conservation biologists have discussed and debated preserve design, but primarily in the context of `SLOSS' (`single large or several small' reserves; Simberloff and Abele, 1982 ; Murphy and Wilcox, 1986 ). Proactive conservation planning has received less attention but is becoming increasingly important as greater and more widespread threats to biodiversity are combined with more limited financial resources ( Rookwood, 1995 ). Because we must deploy limited resources more effectively and efficiently, many states and regions are taking a proactive approach by conducting and implementing large-scale planning activities ( Soulé, 1991 ; Scott et al., 1993 ; Cox et al., 1994 ; Reid and Murphy, 1995 ). In the recent past, conservation planning within The Nature Conservancy has encompassed three primary activities: site identification, preserve design, and management. We primarily have focused on and protected rare species and communities by acquiring their
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