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1 January 2012 Incorporating Wildlife Conservation into County Comprehensive Plans: A GIS Approach
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Within the United States (U.S.), state wildlife agencies are required to identify Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), the factors that impact these species, and the conservation actions needed to conserve these species through documentation of a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS). While the identification of SGCN represents an essential first step towards a comprehensive management strategy at the state level, the incorporation of this information into county level comprehensive plans will likely increase conservation efforts needed statewide. Our objective for this study was to use spatial data to delineate areas of human activity overlapping with areas rich in biodiversity to provide state wildlife agencies and local county planners recommended conservation actions to reduce biodiversity loss by human activities. Using the state of Idaho as an example, we delineated areas within the state where biodiversity hotspots for terrestrial and aquatic SGCN and human activities may be conflicting. We then identified counties within the state where these areas of conflict occur and identified conservation actions that may mitigate human activities to benefit SGCN. Our study used available geospatial data and a simple geographical information system (GIS) based approach which could be applied to other areas to support county-level land use planning for wildlife conservation.

© 2012 by the Northwest Scientific Association.
Aaron M. Haines, Matthias Leu, Leona K. Svancara, J. Michael Scott, Kerri Vierling, Sebastián Martinuzzi, and Tamara J. Laninga "Incorporating Wildlife Conservation into County Comprehensive Plans: A GIS Approach," Northwest Science 86(1), 53-70, (1 January 2012).
Received: 21 February 2011; Accepted: 23 November 2011; Published: 1 January 2012

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