Many states have been actively addressing the closely-related issues of sprawl and loss of open space in recent years by working to manage growth and protect remaining open spaces. The mix of issues and levels of activity vary widely from state to state. Many Members of Congress are interested in these state efforts because federal polices and programs have impacts on these issues, both direct and indirect, and both positive and negative. Federal policies and programs with an impact include transportation, housing, the environment, and agriculture, among others, and others have important but less direct effects, such as the federal tax code. Some federal programs provide positive assistance to states that are trying to address these issues, while others may support incompatible activities. Congressional deliberations generally have given limited consideration to how decisions on federal policies might affect sprawl and loss of open space although both have become prominent topics in more states and communities in recent years. Some Members of Congress also may be interested in states as incubators of innovative approaches to public policy that might serve as models for future national policies. CRS contracted with the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin (LBJ School) to survey every state and compile a catalog of state efforts that have been initiated or amended since 1990. The LBJ School returned this compilation to a contact in each state for a final review for completeness and accuracy before it was submitted to CRS. This report identifies and compares the recent state efforts and presents some of the reasons for a resurgent interest in addressing this suite of topics in many states. It also discusses the effectiveness of these efforts where evaluations or analyses could be found. It draws not only from the LBJ School survey, but also reviews of literature and other sources. Appendix III is a narrative summary of each
state, introducing major programs and activities, drawn from the same sources. The LBJ School also prepared a table summary for each of the 354 programs that it identified. Through the survey and related information-gathering activities, the LBJ School students determined that the overall level of interest and activity on managing growth and protecting open space is high, that issues vary widely, and that approaches and resources committed to address these issues vary greatly. The state efforts are responses to problems. They are concentrated in states where sprawl and loss of open space have been most pronounced. How states have responded also reflects how responsibilities are spread among state agencies, how they are divided between state and lower units of government, and resource management and land use planning traditions. Places where there has been less economic or population growth in recent years have found little reason to act, according to this survey. Congressional interest reflects the same geographic pattern, as most of the interested Members represent the East Coast, Great Lakes, and West Coast states. This interest is bipartisan and generally reflects what is occurring in the district or state than broader ideologies. This report will not be updated.