ESRI Conservation Program Partners:

Society for Conservation GIS

Proceedings of First Annual James Reserve Conference, July 5-7, 1997

You can see the schedule of papers here, and watch this page for the final conference proceedings.

Analyzing Wildlife Movement Corridors in Montana Using GIS (1997 ESRI paper: Richard Walker, American Wildlands, 40 East Main Street, Suite 2, Bozeman, MT 59715, Telephone: 406-586-8175 Fax: 406-586-8242 E-mail:, Lance Craighead )

Historical Origins of GIS (1997 SCGIS Paper, Charles Convis, ESRI, 380 New York St, Redlands CA 92373, tel 909-793-2853, fax: 909-307-3014, email:

A method of evaluating the relative isolation of red-cockaded woodpecker clusters. (1997 SCGIS paper, Leslie K. Backus*, Reed Bowman, D. L. Leonard and Allison Mains, Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Florida 33852. ) . Red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCWs) are cooperative breeders dependent on energetically costly cavities excavated in living pine species. Expansion of RCWs into suitable habitat without cavities is a rare event. Therefore, to maintain RCW populations, it is necessary to conserve existing occupied RCW clusters. Within group demographic and/or environmental stochasticity often results in the extirpation of the individuals occupying a cluster. Unoccupied clusters are re-occupied by dispersing RCWs. However, the probability of re-occupation declines rapidly with time as existing cavities are degraded by other species. Historically, dispersal to unoccupied clusters from occupied clusters was facilitated by the open and continuous character of the landscape. Fragmentation and fire suppression has reduced the probability of successful dispersals from occupied to unoccupied clusters, especially if the latter are isolated. Using data from the Avon Park Air Force Range RCW population, in south-central Florida, we built a model to rank the relative isolation of "focal" clusters. Using recorded female dispersal distances we generated a dispersal buffer around each focal cluster. We then calculated the number of and the distance from each occupied cluster, falling within the buffer, to each focal cluster. We also ranked the pine corridor between the focal cluster and each occupied cluster as direct, indirect, circuitous or open and incorporated this data into our model. Results suggest, that on average, focal clusters with the lowest isolation coefficient (greatest probability of emigration) have more occupied clusters within the dispersal radii. However, the corridor rank between focal and occupied clusters did influence the isolation coefficient. To ensure the timely re-occupation of unoccupied clusters managers need to rank clusters according to their isolation and concentrate management on those having the greatest probability of successful emigration.

2. Leslie K. Backus Archbold Biological Station PO Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33852 e-mail: Phone: 941 465-2571

3. Bowman, R. Leonard, D. Backus. L. Mains, A.

EFFECTS OF GEOGRAPHY ON GENETIC VARIATION OF SIX NARROWLY-ENDEMIC FLORIDA SCRUB PLANTS . (1997 SCGIS paper: Principal Investigator: Dr. Eric Menges, Presenter: Christina M. Casado) . Plant population location, historical habitat range, aggregation and arrangement of occupied patches were examined as predictors of genetic variations for six narrowly-endemic plant species. Several rare alleles were identified and clines in allele frequency were detected. Aggregation indices based on linear distances were calculated and compared to the distribution of rare alleles. The degree of population aggregation was positively related to genetic variation in one of the six species (Nolina brittoniana). Other spatial analysis consisted of a frequency analysis of point in polygon intersects, used to identify occurring soil types for each species and to identify possible historical habitat. Historical patch size inferred from soil polygons, was positively related to patch size and suitable habitat within 32 KM for one species (Hypericum cumulicola). Creation of coverages identifying extant habitat is in progress and will be used with the allele information in a preserve design model to identify rare plant populations in need of protection.

Putting Headwaters Back Together ...For All: The Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan Project (Robert Parker, The Trees Foundation) Summary: . Putting Headwaters Back Together ...For All: The Headwaters Stewardship Plan. Work has begun on this visionary plan for meaningful permanent protection of Headwaters Forest and the workers who depend on forestland for their livelihood. We expect that the process of evaluation, analysis and prescription will provide not only a positive solution to restoring and managing Headwaters Forest after its acquisition but will also provide a model for conservationists to use in creating local solutions to other local forest issues.

One hundred and fifty years ago, two million acres of ancient redwood forest blanketed the California coast. Today, less than three percent of that great forest remains, of which only a fraction is protected from logging. The surviving unprotected ancient redwoods are located mostly in scattered groves. Headwaters Forest is the largest such remnant, containing the six largest unprotected groves of ancient redwood forest left on Earth. Headwaters provides a glimpse at the biodiversity that once enriched the coastal forests of California. The lowland riparian forests, ancient redwood stands, upland prairies, oak woodlands, and residual old-growth redwood and Douglas fir, as well as the second-growth stands, are home for a large variety of animals, plants and microorganisms. Many of the species found in Headwaters Forest are federally and/or state listed as endangered or threatened, and other species are candidates for listing.

Headwaters Forest was acquired in 1985 in a hostile takeover of owner Pacific Lumber Company by corporate raider Charles Hurwitz and his Texas-based Maxxam corporation. At the time, Hurwitz also owned United Savings Association of Texas, which failed in 1988. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) have both filed charges against Hurwitz for his actions in the failure of the savings and loan. The bank’s failure cost US taxpayers over $1.5 billion, resulting in one of the largest S&L bailouts in US history. Hurwitz may have illegally used these S&L funds to take over Pacific Lumber. In other words, US taxpayer dollars may have already paid for Headwaters Forest.

Conservationists have worked tirelessly since Maxxam’s corporate raid to halt the planned logging of the ancient forests of Headwaters by Maxxam. A series of lawsuits by the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) and the Sierra Club have held off the destruction of this world treasure. Efforts to bring the situation to the public eye have resulted in strong support for the permanent protection of all 60,000 acres of Headwaters. The popularity of the issue has also brought about support, including efforts to protect the area through legislation, from members of the California Congressional delegation. As feelings mounted and international public support grew more vocal to protect the intact forest, the Clinton Administration and California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein stepped in last fall to develop a "deal" which provides a cancelable 10-month moratorium for only 7500 acres of Headwaters Forest. Grassroots organizing efforts are being undertaken in California and beyond, as well as media outreach and public education about the issue and the opportunity to save the last of this once-dominant ecosystem and its inhabitant wildlife species.

Goals and Objectives

Goal: Design a plan for an ecologically functioning reserve based on principles and accepted theories of conservation biology which also addresses local economic needs and long-term economic sustainability. Support Affiliate groups with data produced in conjunction with this project. The plan will evaluate the ecological status of the forest and inhabitant species and prescribe needed treatment to restore impacted watersheds and provide for species recovery such as the Coho Salmon. It aims to protect critically important waterways and wild fish populations. From ecologically based forestry and restoration prescriptions, it will project the economic impacts of protecting the area by maintaining or improving local economic health and well-being.

Objectives: Design a landscape management scenario/land use plan that will protect all species and their current and future habitat using the concepts of conservation biology. · Determine the nature and magnitude of work required to restore Headwaters Forest ecosystem health and eventually its ancient forest characteristics throughout the landscape. · Determine the volume and rate of timber extraction consistent with maintaining biodiversity and the Institute for Sustainable Forestry’s Ten Elements of Sustainability©. · Analyze and forecast the social and economic effects of varying rates of production of wood fiber and other commodities. Examine impacts on, and potential for eco-tourism and other alternative economic opportunities. · Analyze Pacific Lumber actions and plans (e.g. Timber Harvest Plans [THPs], Sustained Yield Plan [SYP], Habitat Conservation Plan [HCP]) to determine scientific credibility, compliance with existing regulations, and environmental impacts.

Methodology: Of particular interest to the conservation GIS community is the development and use of GIS technology in the plan. Working in cooperation with a diverse cross-section of agencies, scientists, and activists the Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan GIS Team has compiled a variety of data for use in project planning and analysis. These include classified Landsat images for vegetation and forestry analysis, hydrologic coverages for stream analysis, and data on species locations and habitat requirements. We would like to share our experiences with others interested in this type of GIS application while taking the opportunity to provide information on Headwaters Forest and other Pacific Northwest forest issues. The Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan provides an excellent example of many issues at the heart of the Conservation GIS Alliance: possibilities for overcoming the jobs vs. environment dichotomy, combining science with activism, and setting the stage for further citizen involvement in environmental planning.

Collating Multidisciplinary Museum Specimen Data Using ArcView: The Modoc County Project (1997 ESRI Paper, Tom Moritz, California Academy of Sciences Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA 94118, Telephone: 415-759-7101 Fax: 415-750-7106 E-mail:, George Chaplin ) . By conservative estimate, the natural history museums of North America hold over 400 million biological specimens. These collections represent the largest raw data set depicting the world's biodiversity. The Modoc County project sought to test the potential utility of these data by selecting a relatively simple and manageable geographic region (Modoc County-northeastern California), acquiring a number of available map layers and then inputting specimen data for the County (derived from a variety of disciplinary and institutional sources). The results of this effort are presented and evaluated with implications for the general utility of museum specimen data.

Your Right to Know in the UK (1997 ESRI Paper, Susan Pipes, Friends of the Earth, 26-26 Underwood Street London, N1 7JQ UNITED KINGDOM, Telephone: 44-171-566-1637 Fax: 44-171-490-0881 E-mail: Defining Issue: Friends of the Earth (FOE) has been using spatial analysis as a campaigning tool for over six years. However, in order to maintain the integrity of our GIS research we need to have better access to the United Kingdom government's environmental information. Unlike in the United States there is no Freedom of Information Act in the U.K. at present, and it is the aim of this paper to chart the progress made by FOE and others in obtaining better access to environmental information in the U.K. - our legal challenges, our winning campaigns and our present battles. One Solution: The paper will give a live Internet demonstration of the clear example, FOE has set for the U.K. government in the provision of real access to environmental information. FOE has published the government's own Chemical Release Inventory , a complex database of chemical emissions recorded at U.K. factories, on the Internet via a mapping interface. By entering their post code (or ZIP Code) the user generates a map centered on their own home that identifies local factories. These can then be clicked on to discover emission levels from each individual factory. Voted the Best Non-Commerical Site by GIS World, FOE's version of the Chemical Release Inventory has revolutionized access to this information. In 1994/95 the U.K. government recorded 760 requests for this information. In 1995/96 FOE responded to 25,000 requests for the same information.

Using ArcInfo to Evaluate Plan Biodiversity in Southern Siberia . (1997 ESRI paper: Roman R. Bukarev Novosibirk State University 20/2, Pirogov Street Novosibirsk, 630090 RUSSIA Telephone: 011-383-2-397885 Fax: c/o (406) 728-9432 E-mail: . The Baraba Steppe is a southern Siberian region with native physical and geographical conditions with close coexistence of grassland, forest, steppe, and wetland plant communities. Using PC ARC/INFO, we developed a GIS to provide the capability to operate with large databases on southern Siberia ecosystems biodiversity. The main objectives of the GIS are to answer users' inquiries of two types: (1) evaluating a species' or a regime of species' spatial distribution within a given site (species of plants and animals, associated communities, etc.) and (2) obtaining data on the biodiversity of a given site (the species list, the list of communities within their areas, the Red Book species list, analytical maps, etc.) in order to evaluate the biodiversity of large regions to configure and designate a protected areas network. Using topo maps (1:25,000) and aerial photographs (1:14,000), the hypsometric, road, vegetation, and hydrological layers were developed. These coverages were then modified with field research surveys to include items such as plant communities and abundance. The region analyzed was subdivided and an algorithm was developed to evaluate the biodiversity indices for each site. The identified sites of greatest vegetation biodiversity can be used in designation of protected areas and be considered for human activity within Baraba.

Using ArcInfo to Identify and Promote Designation of Katun National Park, Altai Region, Russia . (1997 ESRI paper: Alexander Yumakaev Socio-Ecological Union/Altai PO 845 Barnaul, 656015 RUSSIA Telephone: 3852.22.0908 Fax: 406-728-9432 E-mail: . SEU/Altai has developed a proposal to create a national park in the Ust-Koksa region in the Altai Republic, Russia, by expanding and changing the management regime of the Katun Nature Preserve. This area, which is at the headwaters of the Katun River, was chosen for potential national park designation because of its unique natural and cultural features. Using PC ARC/INFO, SEU/Altai digitized and combined geologic, vegetative, hydrographic, and cultural layers at a scale of 1:200,000 to gain an understanding of the natural resources and the human impacts on nature in the area. This GIS information allowed us to create land use designations for the proposed park and will aid in management of the future park, as well as aid in the park designation process.

GIS Design for Regional Conservation Planning/Course Outline (William L. Allen, The Conservation Fund, PO Box 271, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, Telephone: 919-967-2223 Fax: 919-967-9702 E-mail:, Cheryl Crupi ) . The Conservation Fund has been asked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Education and Training Center (NETC) to help develop a land and water conservation curriculum for the training, education, and leadership development of conservation professionals in the nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors. The Conservation Fund's GIS Program, Conservation GIS Solutions, has been asked to coordinate the development of courses aimed at applying cutting-edge conservation tools such as geographic information systems. Conservation GIS Solutions is developing an outline for a course on designing regional conservation planning projects using GIS as a tool to facilitate land use decision making. The course will address issues related to conservation GIS development (e.g., articulation of management objectives, user needs assessment, and GIS partnership development) as well as those related to GIS project design (project planning, data acquisition, development, and documentation, and project implementation). The course will also include case studies of successful conservation GIS projects that have utilized GIS as a decision making tool. The Conservation Fund hopes that this course will help conservation professionals from the nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors develop partnerships to design successful regional conservation planning projects using GIS as a decision support tool. After feedback from the USFWS and other government agencies, ESRI user conference attendees, corporate GIS users, and Land Trust Alliance members, we hope to offer the inaugural course at the NETC in late 1997.

Compilation & web design: Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, July 22, 1997

ESRI Conservation Program Home * ECP E-Mail (

Copyright © Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.
Send your comments to:
ESRI Web Site Privacy Policy
July 19, 2000