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After the Inventory is complete, the next step is an Economic, Social, Environmental and Energy (ESEE) Analysis.

The ESEE analysis is an analysis of the economic, social, environmental and energy consequences of allowing, limiting or prohibiting “conflicting uses.”  An ESEE analysis is used to help balance different community values and helps to show how different levels of natural resource protections can lead to different outcomes.

An ESEE analysis should:  

  • Identify uses that might negatively impact or conflict with natural resources (“Conflicting Uses”)
  • Describe the trade-offs to be expected if Conflicting Uses are allowed, limited or prohibited in natural resource areas



Conflicting uses are activities that could impact or hurt a natural resource area.

Examples include:

  • Cutting down trees and removing native plants and soil
  • Constructing buildings, sidewalks, driveways or parking areas
  • Creating barriers for wildlife by building fences
  • Landscaping with invasive plants
  • Installing exterior lighting that is too bright
  • Using pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer
  • Keeping of domestic pets and/or farm animals
  • Littering
  • Replacing streams with culverts or pipes
  • Blocking wildlife corridors



Trade-offs and Choices

Conflicting uses sometimes provide benefits, like new housing and jobs. There are trade-offs to consider when writing new rules. The ESEE analysis helps us think about those trade-offs when answering this question: Should the new rules allow, limit or prohibit some or all conflicting uses in natural resource areas?

The ESEE analysis considers all angles. For example:

  • What would it mean to allow some conflicting uses (such as new buildings) in natural resource areas?
  • What could be the positive and negative economic, social, environmental and energy consequences?