Conservation Lands Network Explorer Tool - San Francisco Bay Area, California

The Conservation Lands Network Explorer Tool is an online decision support tool to explore the conservation and biodiversity values of areas within the nine counties that make up California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The Explorer is an interactive map that allows users to visualize various conservation- and climate-related spatial data. The tool was designed to be accessible to all users, no matter GIS skill level. The information provided can help inform land conservation and adaptation strategies.

The Conservation Lands Network (CLN) is a compilation of interconnected habitats within the Bay Area identified as essential to sustaining the biodiversity of the area. The CLN Explorer Tool makes the information on types, amount, and distribution of habitats within and around the Conservation Lands Network accessible to the public. Users can visualize various conservation-related spatial datasets including planning and landscape units, vegetation type and rarity, conservation suitability, stream conservation targets, protected lands, areas within the CLN, and converted lands that have degraded or eliminated native vegetation cover. 

The CLN captures a broad range of climatic diversity supporting the region’s species diversity via elevational and other geographic gradients. Climate impact spatial datasets related to temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration, groundwater recharge, runoff, and water deficit are also provided as layers that can be visualized based on high and low emissions scenarios and timeframe (eg. baseline, near century, late century). 

Additionally, Critical Linkages, connecting Bay Area habitats to wildlands beyond the Bay in the North and Central Coasts and Central Valley ecoregions, are incorporated as a mapping layer in the tool. The critical linkages are corridors important for species movement between large natural and protected landscape blocks. Habitat connectivity is considered by some to be the most important climate change adaptation strategy for biodiversity conservation. More detailed biodiversity and conservation value information for the selected area can be generated in a pdf Biodiversity and Climate Portfolio Report.

Related Organizations:

  • Bay Area Open Space Council

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  • Mapping tool

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