LandScope Chesapeake to provide shared conservation priority system for the Chesapeake Watershed

September 27, 2012

The conservation nonprofit NatureServe today announced the release of Landscope Chesapeake (www.landscope.org/chesapeake), a tool developed with the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey to help partners focus land conservation efforts. By engaging dozens of state agencies and non-governmental organizations from across the watershed, the partners will extend and enrich the platform provided by LandScope America (http://www.landscope.org), creating a shared system by which practitioners and citizens can guide and measure progress toward collaborative land protection and public access goals across the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The partners have launched a first release of LandScope Chesapeake, initially focused on maps, articles, and photos about conservation priorities and protected areas in the Bay watershed. The team will be working with lead partners in each of the six Bay states to expand and improve the spatial, editorial, and multimedia coverage in each jurisdiction.

"We need science-based tools to inform collaborative conservation," said Mary Klein, president and CEO of NatureServe, "but we also need ways to inspire citizens to reconnect with our shared natural and cultural heritage. LandScope Chesapeake provides an important, model for convening public and private stakeholders from across the Bay watershed around a shared mission."

LandScope Chesapeake fulfills a goal identified by a broad group of public and private organizations for a publicly accessible, watershed-wide land conservation priority system. Developing the system to support collaboration and citizen engagement in conservation became a priority action for implementing the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order. Signed in 2009, Executive Order 13508 renewed the Federal government's commitment to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay and led to a formal strategy for achieving numerous conservation and restoration goals by 2025.

LandScope Chesapeake is the first major regionally focused mapping tool to extend the LandScope America platform. The map viewer at the heart of the project enables conservation practitioners and policy-makers from non-profits, land trusts, state and local agencies, and foundations to see quickly how and where different conservation values align and overlap, making it easier for them prioritize places with the highest conservation value and direct resources to those places.

LandScope Chesapeake will facilitate public-private partnerships within the watershed and monitor progress toward the 2025 goals. Enhancements planned for release in the coming months include: LandScope Chesapeake's first release debuted recently at a meeting of representatives of more than 30 public agencies and private organizations focused on collaborative large landscape conservation across the Bay watershed. "Participants were enthusiastic, viewing LandScope Chesapeake as serving a shared need for a tool that facilitates collaboration, helps organizations and agencies leverage each other's resources and engages more people in thinking about important places," said John Maounis, Superintendent of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office.
-end-
Initially developed by NatureServe and the National Geographic Society, LandScope America is a conservation guide that offers easy public access users to authoritative maps and compelling place-based narratives, photography, and data-rich maps.

LandScope Chesapeake leverages several million dollars of previous grants by Carl Knobloch, Jr.'s West Hill Foundation for Nature, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ExxonMobil, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Wild Resources Conservation Program, the Hershey Company, and the National Parks Conservation Association. In addition to its usefulness to practitioners and policy-makers, LandScope serves as an educational resource that improves landowners' and citizens' understanding of how local land protection contributes to broader conservation efforts.

NatureServe

Related Conservation Articles from Brightsurf:

New guide on using drones for conservation
Drones are a powerful tool for conservation - but they should only be used after careful consideration and planning, according to a new report.

Elephant genetics guide conservation
A large-scale study of African elephant genetics in Tanzania reveals the history of elephant populations, how they interact, and what areas may be critical to conserve in order to preserve genetic diversity of the species.

Measuring the true cost of conservation
BU Professor created the first high-resolution map of land value in the United states.

Environmental groups moving beyond conservation
Although non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have become powerful voices in world environmental politics, little is known of the global picture of this sector.

Hunting for the next generation of conservation stewards
Wildlife ecology students become the professionals responsible for managing the biodiversity of natural systems for species conservation.

Conservation research on lynx
Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (Leibniz-FMP) discovered that selected anti-oxidative enzymes, especially the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD2), may play an important role to maintain the unusual longevity of the corpus luteum in lynxes.

New 'umbrella' species would massively improve conservation
The protection of Australia's threatened species could be improved by a factor of seven, if more efficient 'umbrella' species were prioritised for protection, according to University of Queensland research.

Trashed farmland could be a conservation treasure
Low-productivity agricultural land could be transformed into millions of hectares of conservation reserve across the world, according to University of Queensland-led research.

Bats in attics might be necessary for conservation
Researchers investigate and describe the conservation importance of buildings relative to natural, alternative roosts for little brown bats in Yellowstone National Park.

Applying biodiversity conservation research in practice
One million species are threatened with extinction, many of them already in the coming decades.

Read More: Conservation News and Conservation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.