A land trust’s ability to protect properties for conservation is often curtailed by limited resources and funding. This reality forces land trusts to make and defend difficult decisions when pursing properties, especially those operating in rapidly urbanizing landscapes. The Lancaster Conservancy (LC), a mid-size land trust with 12 full time staff in a two-county territory, had an outdated model that prioritized land protection efforts but they lacked the resources to contract with a professional group to update it. Many national organizations offer nationwide or regional models for free use by land trusts, but these are often too broad to capture local conservation issues. With public data becoming more accessible and accurate, LC’s solution was to address this problem in-house through a collaboratively-designed, data-driven tool built in ArcGIS to help focus land protection efforts. It incorporates environmental and social elements demonstrated to contribute to landscape stabilization, helping LC make more informed acquisition decisions. In this session, learn how LC is using GIS, partnership, and conservation science to re-examine land protection priorities; what types of data are important to consider when building a model for yourself; and how to use ModelBuilder and ArcGIS Online to streamline property analysis and information sharing. Participants should be familiar with ArcMap. A basic knowledge of ModelBuilder is helpful, but not required.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center