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The California Legacy Project - 2001 Accomplishments
 2001 Accomplishments

1. Data Improvement and Development

  • Federal and state ownership database and map. Includes some nonprofit fee ownerships and some conservation easements owned by public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Land Ownership Data provided by US Bureau of Reclamation, CALFED Bay-Delta Program, and the Resources Agency
  • Fire history database update. Completed using 1997-2000 data and protocols set by CDF and USFS. This database serves as an essential part to updating a statewide land cover database and as one of the layers in our analysis of threats to natural resources.
  • Census 2000 populated places database complete. This database will assist the Legacy Project in analyzing urban open space needs.
  • An updated vegetation land cover map from existing data sets has been completed by CDF and will soon be expanded to include the Mojave Desert. When completed, this will be the most detailed statewide vegetation dataset available to date. Legacy Project staff is leading an interagency working group to develop standards that will increase compatibility among various agency mapping efforts. The long-term goal of this effort is to develop vegetation data of higher resolution and greater accuracy.

2. Analytical Maps

  • Forest Lands. Shows how the forested lands are distributed around the state/region and how much is on public land.
  • Rare Species/Communities and Predicted Urban Growth. Shows how some parts of the state/region contain more rare species/communities than others and that some of these species-rich areas may be at higher risk of habitat loss due to urban expansion than other areas. You can also see that some of these high concentration areas occur on conservation lands (both public and private NGO). California Natural Diversity Database provided by the California Department of Fish and Game. Projected Urban Growth data provided by Professor John Landis, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Habitat Linkages. These are some potential habitat linkages that could be considered in conservation planning. Shows how the vegetation links areas of natural vegetation and conservation lands. Potential Habitat Linkages based on "Missing Linkages: Restoring Connectivity to the California Landscape" report, based on a November 2000 conference hosted by the California Wilderness Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, the United States Geological Survey, The Zoological Society of San Diego, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Underrepresented Habitats. Although conservation lands cover about 50% of the state, they do not include 50% of each habitat type's statewide distribution. Some habitats are poorly represented on public lands. Here are those habitats that have less than 20% of their statewide acreage on conservation lands.
  • Important Farmlands and Predicted Urban Growth. Shows the distribution of important farmlands within the state/region and that some of these farmlands may be at higher risk of habitat loss due to urban expansion than other areas. Projected Urban Growth data provided by Professor John Landis, University of California, Berkeley. Important Farmlands data provided by the California Department of Conservation Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program.
  • Existing and Potential Urban Open Space. Some urban areas already have many public lands available for open space uses. Other urban areas have very little public open space and not much in the way of natural vegetation that could be used as open space. Other areas, although low in existing public open space, have large areas of natural vegetation that could be managed as open space.

3. Decision Support and Analytical Tools for Conservation Planning

  • Initial criteria for assessing the conservation value of large-scale areas have been identified for terrestrial biodiversity, aquatic biodiversity and watersheds, agricultural croplands, rangelands, forestry, rural recreation lands and facilities and urban open space. These criteria will be refined by a broader public at the Project's regional Spotlight on Conservation Workshops in 2002 and 2003.
  • Missing Linkages Project. Legacy Project has provided seed funding of $25,000 and encouraged private foundations to donate the nearly $400,000 that the project will require. The Legacy Project also worked to increase the involvement of key Resource Agency departments. When completed the State will have plans to protect and restore continuous wildlife migration corridors between Mexico and the Los Padres Forest in Ventura County, and between the Southern California Coastline and the Colorado and Mojave Deserts.

4. Public Outreach and Facilitating Partnership Opportunities

  • The Legacy Project has established a 45 member Stakeholder Advisory Committee, bringing together representatives from local governments, environmental and environmental justice groups, tribal councils, forestry, range, agricultural, development and business organizations. At their second meeting a private lands stewardship incentives working group was formed.
  • The Project's 32 member Management Advisory Committee has brought together the directors or managers of state and federal agencies involved in conservation activities in the state, and NGOs and foundations that invest in conservation. Among other things, this group will focus on identifying common statewide data need, cost-sharing for data development and establishing a internet system to exchange and update conservation data.
  • The Project's Executive Management Advisory Committee consists of the seven departments, boards and conservancies within the Resources Agency with the largest role in natural resource protection. It is chaired by the Secretary for Resources and the Deputy Secretary for Land Conservation and Stewardship. This Committee will direct the project based on the input of the other advisory committees and Legacy staff.
  • The Legacy project has also developed a website for all of its publications and does regular outreach to diverse groups throughout the state.

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2000 State of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor.
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