- Patrick Crist
- Director/Conservation Planner
Conservation Planning Links
- Analysis of Conservation and Economic Value of Forest Stands
- Setting Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation in Puerto Rico
- Conservation Prioritization in Napa County, California
- Integrated Conservation and Long Range Planning Using Decision Support Systems
- Community Planning Collaborative
- Biodiversity Analysis in Support of University Master Planning
Integrated Conservation and Long Range Planning Using Decision Support Systems
- Location: El Paso and Pueblo Counties, Colorado
- Project Area: ~ 6,000,000 acres (~ 2,428,000 hectares)
- Client: Pikes Peak and Pueblo Councils of Government
- Partner Organizations: Colorado Natural Heritage Program (lead organization), Placeways
- Time Frame: July 2007 December 2007
- Project Purpose
- The primary purpose of this grant was to explore and demonstrate the integration of conservation and long range planning for transportation and land use by interoperating NatureServe Vista and CommunityViz decision support systems.
- Project Summary
- The Federal Highway Administration chose Pueblo and El Paso Counties in Colorado as a test case for its Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) initiative. The PEL initiative promotes conservation planning early in the planning stages of transportation decision-making as well as throughout the life of the project. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP), together with NatureServe and Placeways, LLC, were contracted to do the first stage of this project. CNHP provided project management, ecological data, and scientific expertise. NatureServe used the decision-support software, NatureServe Vista, to conduct initial conservation planning iteratively with growth and development scenarios created via Placeways? community planning software, CommunityViz. A total of 59 conservation targets were chosen for the project: 23 plants, 2 amphibians, 3 reptiles, 12 mammals, 9 birds, 3 fish, 5 insects, 1 mollusk, plus CNHP Potential Conservation Areas. Most of the data used to represent target occurrences and viability were derived from CNHPs Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System (BIOTICS).
- Outcomes / Conservation Impact
- The analyses in CommunityViz showed two key factors in the growth and development pattern of the study area; 1) a bus rapid transit system does have the potential to concentrate growth around city centers, and 2) a conservation plan could be effectively applied in conjunction with a transportation plan. A combined transportation and conservation plan would have the potential to focus development around city centers while relieving development pressure on land that is necessary to meet conservation goals. The Vista analyses highlight species that are threatened, either by existing or potentially planned development, that are not yet listed. This sort of information can help planners be pro-active in their development plans and reassure regulatory entities that conservation values are being taken seriously and incorporated upfront. A third of the targets did not meet goals in the Baseline Scenario, which represents existing conditions. This indicates that there may already be serious concerns about the long-term viability of a number of rare and imperiled species in Pueblo and El Paso counties, and that continued urban development can be expected to worsen the situation, unless proactive and carefully considered steps are taken now.
- Products Available
- Geospatial Environmental and Community Analysis in Pueblo and El Paso Counties, Colorado (PDF 10.6 mb)
Authors: M. Landon, M. Fink, N. Gibson, and L. Scharf