Tools for Landscape-Level Assessment and Planning: A Guide for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Last modified: 
August 30, 2016 - 10:05am
Type: Report
Year of publication: 2014
Date published: 10/2014
Authors: Patrick Crist, Kat Maybury, Sarah Carr, Jon Hak
Publishing institution: NatureServe
City: Arlington, VA
Series title: Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network

The heart of this Guide is the Matrix of 100 tools, divided into user categories (general public, resource manager, and technical expert) and subject areas. So whether you are a community planner who wants to see the potential cost/benefits of building a sea wall or a forest scientist who wants to work on species connectivity for many species simultaneously, you can quickly look up which tools might be appropriate for you.

All 100 tools are described in detail following the Matrix.

Things to note:

  • We use a broad definition of tools, including anything that facilitated: 1) gathering and distributing relevant data (e.g. regional databases that support queries and downloads); 2) conducting analyses and modeling (e.g. vulnerability assessments); 3) visualizing data and analysis/modeling results (including current and potential future conditions); and, 4) integrating information into planning for conservation, land use, and land management.
  • We place an emphasis on tools currently in use within the region.
  • We do not include products that were simply guidelines, frameworks, or processes (but the Appendix does include some that seemed especially useful; for example, see TESSA).
  • We mostly avoid tools that were geared to one state or province and those that could not be readily utilized throughout the region.
  • We do not include tools that are more accurately described as services—in other words, those that required extensive and expensive—personalized set-up or customization.
  • We avoid tools that were no longer maintained as well as most tools still under development. Because tools often become obsolete and new ones frequently emerge, this guide should be updated periodically.

The Background section of this guide lists the Necessary and Desired Attributes of the tools included in the Matrix.

We have selected 11 tools from the Matrix that we describe as a “toolkit” that can support many of the NPLCC’s needs. Each of these tools also had widespread interest among NPLCC partners and/or applicability to multiple functions in the Matrix. This guide takes an in-depth look at these 11 Featured Tools, covering  what they do best, how they work, their data requirements, key outputs, computer and software requirements, training requirements, and costs. A “snapshot” of each featured tool gives a brief description, examples of use, and an “at-a-glance” table that shows the tools in a matrix format.

We chose four tools to explore further via Case Studies. These are here to provide a more nuanced look at how tools have actually been applied, especially where the application experience yielded important Lessons Learned and Helpful Hints. The case studies from the region will also promote national and international awareness of NPLCC work on landscape-level conservation in the face of climate change.

Finally, the Appendix lists other potentially useful resources that did not qualify as one of our “Matrix tools” but that may assist you with your work—for example, by helping you use the tools more effectively.

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