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© Chesapeake Bay Program (Chesapeake)

Chesapeake: Our Valued Lands

Overview

There are 64,000 square miles in the Chesapeake watershed, or 41 million acres of land. About 11 percent of that area is developed in cities, towns, homes, roads, businesses and industry. But the 18 million of us who live here also rely on the remaining large portions of rest of the watershed to support our lives.

Data Layer Description

Source

Chesapeake Conservation Partnership

Location

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Description

This map represents a composite of the Farms, Forests, Habitat and Heritage goal maps. It is intended to depict the full range of places we collectively value. But we display this in three mapping units:

 

Lands Already Protected: The lands shown in dark gray are already protected through conservation easements or public ownership.

 

Most Valued Lands: The lands highlighted in dark green represent the portion of the composite map with the highest numbers of multiple farm, forest, habitat and/or heritage values overlapping on currently unprotected lands. Specifically, this is where 13 or more of 31 values factors overlap. This equates to approximately 11.5 million acres of land.  

 

Other Valued Lands: The lands highlighted in light green represent the rest of the composite map where either one conservation value exists, or there is some degree of overlap -- again, on currently unprotected lands. Specifically this is where 1 factor exists to 12 values overlap. This equates to around 19.7 million acres of land.

 

Listed below is the ranking scheme used for assembling the “Valued Lands” composite map from the Farms, Forests, Habitat and Heritage goals maps.

 

Within each single goal weightings are assigned to reflect the inherent gradient of value from highest to lowest, as depicted in the descriptions below.

 

Habitat: This weighting is assigned according to tiers of importance determine by Nature’s Network

9 - Tier 1 Highly Important Habitats, Lands, and Waters

9 - Tier 1 Highly Important Lands and Habitats

9 - Tier 1 Highly Important Lands and Waters

9 - Tier 1 Highly Important Waters and Habitats

6 - Tier 2 Important Habitats

6 - Tier 2 Important Lands

6 - Tier 2 Important Waters

3 - Tier 3 Land Connectors

 

Heritage: This weighting is purely based on the number of overlapping values.

10 - 10 or more overlapping values

9 - 9 overlapping values

Etc.

1 - 1 value

 

Forest: This weighting is purely based on the number of overlapping values.

10 - 3 overlapping values

7 - 2 overlapping values

4 - 1 overlapping value

 

Farms: This weighting prioritizes both land currently in production and soil capability.

10 - Prime and Farmed

8 - Farmland of Importance and Farmed

6 - Farmed

4 - Prime and Not Farmed

2 - Farmland of Importance and not farmed

 

To create the composite valued lands map:

  • Forest+Habitat are each weighted at 16.66%
  • Heritage and Farms are each weighted at 33.3%

This weighting was done to acknowledge the overlap between the Forest and Habitat maps.   

In the final composite, we identified that 13 or more overlapping values would be considered “Highly Valued Lands”, and 12 or less overlapping values would be considered “Other Valued Lands”.

How to get the data layer

Contact Jeff Allenby, Chesapeake Conservancy, jallenby@chesapeakeconservancy.org

How you might make use of this data layer

This dataset depicts lands valued for one or more conservation goals. It further indicates the most valued lands, based on multiple overlapping values. This information can be used to inform and support strategic conservation efforts focusing on protecting what is most important.

How to get more information

For more information about the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership contact: John Griffin, Program Manager, jgriffin@chesapeakeconservation.org

Access and use constraints

Attribution No Derivatives (BY-ND)

None

Credits

2018, Chesapeake Conservation Partnership

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