Increasing numbers of Americans are fleeing cities and suburbs for the small towns and open spaces that surround national and state parks, wildlife refuges, historic sites, and other public lands. With their scenic beauty and high quality of life, these "gateway communities" have become a magnet for those looking to escape the congestion and fast tempo of contemporary American society.Yet without savvy planning, gateway communities could easily meet the same fate as the suburban communities that were the promised land of an earlier generation. This volume can help prevent that from happening.The authors offer practical and proven lessons on how residents of gateway communities can protect their community's identity while stimulating a healthy economy and safeguarding nearby natural and historic resources. They describe economic development strategies, land-use planning processes, and conservation tools that communities from all over the country have found effective. Each strategy or process is explained with specific examples, and numerous profiles and case studies clearly demonstrate how different communities have coped with the challenges of growth and development. Among the cities profiled are Boulder, Colorado; Townsend and Pittman Center Tennessee; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Tyrrell County, North Carolina; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sanibel Island, Florida; Calvert County, Maryland; Tuscon, Arizona; and Mount Desert Island, Maine.Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities provides important lessons in how to preserve the character and integrity of communities and landscapes without sacrificing local economic well-being. It is an important resource for planners, developers, local officials, and concerned citizens working to retain the high quality of life and natural beauty of these cities and towns.