Examples, Resources, and References


The following conservation planning projects exemplify various positive aspects of the 12 step process outlined above.  Note that each of the examples emphasize certain steps more than others, but each represents a strong effort in site conservation planning. 

The Gathering Waters Conservancy, Wisconsin

Gathering Waters recognized a conservation need and organized a variety of stakeholders in the service of the Gibson Creek and Red Banks area.  A report by the Michigan Shorelands Alliance had identified Gibson Creek as regionally important site for the conservation needs of Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan basin.  It is biologically and geologically very rich, but under threat from development in the Green Bay metropolitan area.  The entire plan can be seen here; its goal is to identify threats to the area and propose strategies to protect it.  The particular strengths of the Plan are 

  1. its clear statement of conservation targets, 
  2. the goals for their protection, 
  3. the list of processes that threaten them, 
  4. a clear conceptual model that vividly illustrates the biological system, threats, and bio-sociological context, 
  5. a list of proposed actions directed at achieving the goals, and 
  6. a list of partners in action.

Genesee Land Trust, New York

GLT, in collaboration with students from Cornell University produced a comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for the Rochester, NY area.  Its focus is on describing the conservation area, land use and foci for conservation.  It concludes with a brief section on the plans for developing measures of success.  The plan is notable for the collaborative process with which it was developed.

Maui Coastal Land Trust, Hawaii

The group publishes a manifesto that outlines the criteria for land acquisition.  It is a clear and useful plan that guides land acquisition, including goals for conservation.  It is not a plan that guides the stewardship of the land once it has been acquired.

Allegheny Land Trust, Pennsylvania

Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area is a 400+ acre area of watershed with significant biological diversity.  The ALT Strategic Plan and other documents linked here are not a traditional plans in the sense outlined in this chapter, but the work of the Allegheny Land Trust at this site is broad and comprehensive.  It includes partners, outreach, and significant land reclamation.

Napa Land Trust, California

The Napa Land Trust’s conversation plan for 2010 outlines the Land Trust’s efforts to protect open space and biological resources.  This document emphasizes the overarching goals and the partners required to achieve it.

Conservation Planning Resources

Miradi offers an array of conversation planning tools that may be helpful in many situations.


Maddox, G.D., K.E. Poiani, & R.E. Unnasch 1999. Evaluating Management Success: using ecological models to ask the right monitoring questions. In N. Johnson, ed., The Ecological Stewardship Project: A common reference for Ecosystem Management, 3 vols. (Oxford: Elsvier Science).

Sound Science LLC assists many land management organizations with site conservation planning, goal setting, land management, and measures of success.

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