Web-Based Conservation Maps for Land Trusts
Client: Blue Mountains Conservancy
Location: Baker and Union Counties, OR
Land trusts that focus on strategic priorities protect land more efficiently and raise more funds. But how does a land trust align their conservation work with their mission, and make sure that lands they pursue meet their conservation priorities? A strategic conservation plan.
A conservation plan, and accompanying conservation maps, help inspire more informed action, and enhance public outreach and education. It also increases funder confidence. Looking for new tools to guide their conservation strategy, Blue Mountains Conservancy (BMC) enlisted FLO for help.
We started our work with BMC by helping them outline the values that would drive the land trust’s future work. Community outreach interviews helped identify conservation priorities throughout the multi-county service area. The values identified were:
- Enhance the community’s quality of life
- Conserve wildlife habitat and connectivity
- Protect wetlands
- Safeguard working lands
Once the values were identified, we worked with BMC to identify conservation drivers (spatial representations of the community’s objectives on the landscape with specific criteria and data used in the GIS Analysis), then created web-based conservation maps to see where multiple goals overlapped.
“We worked with FLO, and they were fully engaged and responsive throughout the whole process. They provided us with a tool which will enhance our ability to target specific habitats and their associated owners.” –Blue Mountains Conservancy
Access to geographic information was an issue for the organization, as the land trust has limited internal GIS capabilities. Keeping that in mind, we developed a secure web mapping application to provide BMC the ability to interact with mapped output, and for exploration of the spatial data used to represent each of their conservation values.
Using the map application, priority focal areas (like wildlife corridors, for example), and the properties within them, can easily be reviewed from multiple devices and locations, giving the all-volunteer land trust flexibility and increased capacity.