Conservation Planning Services

Conserving our Natural Heritage Through Better Planning and Integration with Other Human NeedsExpert Services

Overview

Conservation planning is about conserving natural values in an active landscape/seascape of competing uses, values, and other threats and opportunities. Whether it is single species conservation, a complete biodiversity conservation strategy, or a plan that integrates other human needs and values, NatureServe’s Conservation Planning Program can assist you.

Value

Conservation planning can be a stand-alone process to identify key conservation areas and connections among them. However, it is best carried out in conjunction with broader planning for land/sea uses, infrastructure, and natural resource management (or more broadly Ecosystem Based Management). Good planning requires good data, scientific methods and expertise, GIS and specialized tools. NatureServe has the broad expertise and experience to provide any level of assistance from scientific and technical support to complete planning and decision support solutions.

Conservation planning is a place-based process that incorporates the following considerations:

  • Respects and integrates local knowledge and values of the people in the planning region
  • Incorporates expert knowledge on the resources to provide a solid scientific basis for assessment and planning
  • Identifies key ecosystems, resources, habitats, and values that should be conserved
  • Assigns quantitative “retention goals” that specify the amount of the resource to be maintained
  • Evaluates current and potential future threats and conflicts and develops alternatives that meet the goals but reduce conflicts with other appropriate land uses
  • Applies best practices for systematic conservation planning, ecosystem based management, and climate change adaptation in developing solutions
  • Incorporates landscape connectivity and species movement corridors
  • Integrates with other sector planning such as land use, resource management, infrastructure, and energy planning to reduce conflicts and ensure meeting multiple objectives
  • Results in a plan that is implementable but dynamic for future changes and updates and is anticipatory and resilient to climate change.

Features & Benefits

Conservation planning and ecosystem management are complex and rapidly evolving disciplines that must be customized for each locale and situation. Services we bring to bear on your project include:

  • Partnership building and facilitation to draw out the conservation values and requirements and support ongoing plan implementation and updates
  • Ecological knowledge and data development to determine specific biodiversity conservation needs
  • GIS mapping and modeling services to compile or develop the data needed for the planning process such as predictive species distribution models
  • Gap analysis to determine shortfalls in retaining conservation values based on current land use, current policies, potential threats and disturbances, and proposed policy changes or development activities
  • Conservation plan development to mitigate threats and develop an integrated plan to achieve conservation objectives in collaboration with other competing needs
  • Integration of data, knowledge, models, and analyses in the NatureServe Vista decision support system and other technology tools such as Marxan to facilitate ongoing analysis, planning, and implementation by local users

Additional custom analyses conducted through other NatureServe programs, members, and partners in such areas as:

  • Economic evaluations
  • Ecosystem services
  • Population viability analysis
  • Fully integrated land use or management plan development
  • Conservation area monitoring and management plans

Our conservation analysis and planning services can be applied to a large variety of projects where we and our partners have experience including:

  • Landscape Conservation Designs for Lanscape Conservation Cooperatives
  • Conservation planning for species or biodiversity generally including HCPs
  • Green infrastructure planning
  • Local or regional land use planning
  • Transportation planning applying the Integrated Ecological Framework developed by NatureServe and partners
  • Refuge Vulnerability Assessment and Alternatives (RVAA)
  • Military resource management planning (RMP)
  • Public lands land use and resource management planning
  • Open space program prioritization mapping and processes
  • Green development siting and evaluation

Conservation Planning Resources