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Overdevelopment of wetlands, barrier islands, old growth forests, mountainsides and other disaster-prone areas often leads to exacerbating losses from natural disasters. Building on or near mountainsides, for example, can cause landslides and flooding. Such areas— often the most physically beautiful—also provide important wildlife habitat and key areas for recreation. While some of the benefits of conservation are clearly “soft”—appreciation for the beauty of nature, preservation of wildlife—there are also concrete, hard benefits to preserving such areas.