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Forest Legacy Assessment of Need Identifying Future Forest Legacy Areas. Governor’s Commission for Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry December 21, 2005. Charge to the Commission. Provide guidance and recommendations in the preparation of an updated

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forest legacy assessment of need identifying future forest legacy areas

Forest Legacy Assessment of NeedIdentifying Future Forest Legacy Areas

Governor’s Commission for Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry

December 21, 2005

charge to the commission
Charge to the Commission

Provide guidance and recommendations

in the preparation of an updated

Forest Legacy Assessment of Need

that identifies

1)environmentally important forestlands that are

2) threatened by present or future conversion to nonforest uses

today s objectives
Today’s Objectives:
  • Review proposed process to identify and evaluate Forest Legacy Areas
  • Evaluate potential new areas
  • Revisit currently designated Forest Legacy Areas
  • Receive your comments to further refine Assessment of Need
two key components to consider
Two Key Components to Consider…
  • Identification of Forest Legacy Areas
  • Evaluation of specific projects
    • Which projects get nominated State-wide?
    • How well will nominations compete at a National level?
identifying focus areas i e narrowing our window of opportunity
Identifying Focus Areas, i.e. narrowing our window of opportunity
  • Use existing Landscape Analysis Tools
    • Strategic Forest Lands Assessment (SFLA)
      • Ecological, Economic and Vulnerability models
    • Forest Stewardship Spatial Analysis Project (SAP)
  • Adopt a regional approach
    • Western, Central, Southern and Eastern forest management regions
    • Distinct management issues within each region
slide7

Strategic Forest Lands

Ecological Assessment

Evaluates the ecological values important to land conservation programs.

  • The ecological model gives priority or greater weight to large forest blocks, particularly those with:
    • More forest “interior” conditions
    • Greater diversity of habitat types
    • More stream or erodible soils protection
    • More closely located to other forest blocks vs isolated patches
slide9

Strategic Forest Lands

Economic Assessment

Evaluates the potential of forest land to yield economic benefits associated with timber management activities.

  • Biophysical, environmental, socioeconomic and
  • policy factors include:
    • Species composition
    • Soil productivity
    • Environmental constraints on timber harvest operations
    • (wetlands, steep slopes, streams)
    • Population density
    • Parcelization
    • Role of the forest products industry in the local economy
    • Existing working landscape protection initiatives (e.g. Rural Legacy and Forest Legacy Areas)
    • Existing public and private forest land protection
slide11

Strategic Forest Lands

Vulnerability Assessment

Evaluates the vulnerability of a given acre of forest to development as well as factors that make its conversion less likely.

  • Factors used to determine how vulnerable an area is include:
    • Current level of protection arising from public ownership, conservation or agricultural easements
    • Development constraints imposed by environmentally sensitive features, including wetlands and riparian areas, steep slopes, and sensitive habitats.
    • Proximity to population centers
    • Road access and density
    • Existing or planned water and sewer service areas
    • Local zoning
slide13

Forest Stewardship Spatial Analysis Project (SAP)

Evaluates the potential benefits and suitability of privately owned forest land for the Forest Stewardship Program.

  • Higher priorities are given to forest land that are:
    • Ecologically important (similar to SFLA Ecological Model)
    • Near existing protected lands
    • Adjacent to privately owned forests covered by Forest Stewardship Management Plans
tools to support forest legacy needs assessment

SFLA

Ecological Model

Tools to SupportForest Legacy Needs Assessment

FLA Eligibility Criteria

Available Assessment Tools

  • Important Public Values
    • Scenic resources
    • Recreational opportunities
    • Public water supply protection
    • Wetlands
    • Interior forest habitat
    • Rare, threatened and endangered species habitat
    • Chesapeake Bay water quality improvement
  • Forest products utilization
  • Threatened by conversion to non-forest uses
tools to support forest legacy needs assessment1
Tools to SupportForest Legacy Needs Assessment

FLA Eligibility Criteria

Available Assessment Tools

  • Important Public Values
    • Scenic resources
    • Recreational opportunities
    • Public water supply protection
    • Wetlands
    • Interior forest habitat
    • Rare, threatened and endangered species habitat
    • Chesapeake Bay water quality improvement
  • Forest products utilization
  • Threatened by conversion to non-forest uses

Forest Stewardship

SAP

tools to support forest legacy needs assessment2

SFLA

Economic Model

Tools to SupportForest Legacy Needs Assessment

FLA Eligibility Criteria

Available Assessment Tools

  • Important Public Values
    • Scenic resources
    • Recreational opportunities
    • Public water supply protection
    • Wetlands
    • Interior forest habitat
    • Rare, threatened and endangered species habitat
    • Chesapeake Bay water quality improvement
  • Forest products utilization
  • Threatened by conversion to non-forest uses
tools to support forest legacy needs assessment3

SFLA

Vulnerability Model

Tools to SupportForest Legacy Needs Assessment

FLA Eligibility Criteria

Available Assessment Tools

  • Important Public Values
    • Scenic resources
    • Recreational opportunities
    • Public water supply protection
    • Wetlands
    • Interior forest habitat
    • Rare, threatened and endangered species habitat
    • Chesapeake Bay water quality improvement
  • Forest products utilization
  • Threatened by conversion to non-forest uses
locating focus areas
Locating Focus Areas
  • IDENTIFYEcologically and Economically Important Forest Lands
    • Medium and High valued forests (SFLA)
  • FILTER
    • At least 50% forest cover/assessment area
    • Medium to High Stewardship Potential (SAP)
    • Medium to High Vulnerability (SFLA)
  • RELATEto other programs and objectives
    • Maryland’s Green Infrastructure
    • 1995 Forest Legacy Areas
    • Rural Legacy Areas
    • Existing Protected Lands
today s draft focus areas are
Today’s Draft Focus Areas are …
  • A starting point only
  • Located through GIS analysis; each step is a map layer
  • Defined through a select set of spatial, or mapped data

What else should we consider?

demonstration
Demonstration
  • Western Region example
    • Step through the process
    • Illustrate the “Regional” approach
      • High, Medium, Low rankings determined on regional basis vs Statewide basis
  • Results for remaining regions
slide23

IDENTIFY: Ecologically Important Forest Lands

Western Region

SFLA Ecological Rank

Low

Medium

High

Mapping unit = 30 m2 (~1/3 acre) grid cell

Very Fine Grained Resolution

Difficult for isolating significant “Focus Areas”

slide24

IDENTIFY: Ecologically Important Forest Lands

Western Region

SFLA Ecological Rank

Low

Medium

High

hexagon

vs

grid cell

Mapping unit = 2.5 km hexagons

Summarizes fine grained information for broader “Focus Area” evaluation

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide25

IDENTIFY: Economically Important Forest Lands

Western Region

SFLA Economic Rank

Low

Medium

High

slide26

IDENTIFY: Economically Important Forest Lands

Western Region

SFLA Economic Rank

Low

Medium

High

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide27

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Low

Medium

High

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide28

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

low composite SFLA score

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide29

FILTER: At least 50 % Forest Cover

Western Region

Percent Forest Cover (2002)

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide30

FILTER: At least 50 % Forest Cover

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

forest cover <50%

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

FILTER: At Least 50% Forest Cover

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide31

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

Western Region

Spatial Analysis Project (SAP) Score

Low

Medium

High

slide32

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

Western Region

Spatial Analysis Project (SAP) Score

Low

Medium

High

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide33

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

low stewardship potential

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

FILTER: At Least 50% Forest Cover

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide34

FILTER: Medium to High Vulnerability

Western Region

SFLA Vulnerability Rank

Not at Risk

Low Risk

Medium Risk

High Risk

slide35

FILTER: Medium to High Vulnerability

Western Region

SFLA Vulnerability Rank

Low

Medium

High

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide36

FILTER: Medium to High Vulnerability

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

low vulnerability

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

FILTER: At Least 50% Forest Cover

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

FILTER: Medium to High Vulnerability

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide38

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

low composite SFLA score

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide39

FILTER: At least 50 % Forest Cover

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

forest cover <50%

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

FILTER: At Least 50% Forest Cover

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide40

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

low stewardship potential

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

FILTER: At Least 50% Forest Cover

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide41

FILTER: Medium to High Vulnerability

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Removing watersheds with

low vulnerability

IDENTIFY: Ecologically AND Economically Important Forest Lands

FILTER: At Least 50% Forest Cover

FILTER: Medium to High Stewardship Potential

FILTER: Medium to High Vulnerability

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide42

RELATE: Rural Legacy Areas

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Rural Legacy Areas

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide43

RELATE: Green Infrastructure

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Green Infrastructure

Hubs and Corridors

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide44

RELATE: Existing Protected Lands

Western Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Protected Land

Acquisitions

Easements

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide45

Central Region Focus Areas

Deer Creek FLA

Elk

Neck

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide46

RELATE:Forest Legacy Areas and Rural Legacy Areas

Central Region Focus Areas

Deer Creek FLA

Elk

Neck

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Forest Legacy Areas

Rural Legacy Areas

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide47

RELATE: Green Infrastructure

Central Region Focus Areas

Deer Creek FLA

Elk

Neck

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Green Infrastructure

Hubs and Corridors

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide48

RELATE: Existing Protected Lands

Central Region Focus Areas

Deer Creek FLA

Elk

Neck

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Protected Lands

Acquisitions

Easements

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide49

Southern Region Focus Areas

Crownsville

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Doncaster

FLA

Battle/

Parkers

FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide50

RELATE: Forest Legacy Areas and Rural Legacy Areas

Southern Region Focus Areas

Crownsville

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Forest Legacy Areas

Rural Legacy Areas

Doncaster

FLA

Battle/

Parkers

FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide51

RELATE: Green Infrastructure

Southern Region Focus Areas

Crownsville

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Green Infrastructure

Hubs and Corridors

Doncaster

FLA

Battle/

Parkers

FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide52

RELATE: Existing Protected Lands

Southern Region Focus Areas

Crownsville

FLA

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Protected Lands

Acquisitions

Easements

Doncaster

FLA

Battle/

Parkers

FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide53

Eastern Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Wye

River

FLA

Chincoteague FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide54

RELATE: Forest Legacy Areas andRural Legacy Areas

Eastern Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Wye

River

FLA

Forest Legacy Areas

Rural Legacy Areas

Chincoteague FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide55

RELATE: Green Infrastructure

Eastern Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Wye

River

FLA

Green Infrastructure

Hubs and Corridors

Chincoteague FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

slide56

RELATE: Existing Protected Lands

Eastern Region Focus Areas

SFLA Ecologic and Economic

Composite Score

Medium

High

Wye

River

FLA

Protected Lands

Acquisitions

Easements

Chincoteague FLA

By 2.5 km hexagons (natural breaks)

today s objectives1
Today’s Objectives:
  • Review proposed process to identify and evaluate Forest Legacy Areas
  • Evaluate potential new areas
  • Revisit currently designated Forest Legacy Areas
  • Receive your comments to further refine Assessment of Need
two key components to consider1
Two Key Components to Consider…
  • Identification of Forest Legacy Areas
  • Evaluation of specific projects
    • Which projects get nominated State-wide?
    • How well will nominations compete at a National level?
parcel ecological value
Parcel Ecological Value
  • Ecological Score of GI within Parcel
  • Acres of Green Infrastructure (GI)
  • Percent of Parcel in GI
  • Acres of Protected Land within 1 Mile
  • Contribution to Protection of Hub or Corridor
  • Composite Score
parcel economic value
Parcel Economic Value
  • Economic Score of Forest within Parcel
  • Parcel Size (acres)
  • Percent of Parcel Forested
  • Forest Patch Size
  • Proximity to Existing Forest Stewardship Plans
  • Composite Score
slide61

SFLA

Ecological Model

Tools to SupportForest Legacy Needs AssessmentAre there any criteria that we need to consider that aren’t on this list?

FLA Eligibility Criteria

Available Assessment Tools

  • Important Public Values
    • Scenic resources
    • Recreational opportunities
    • Public water supply protection
    • Wetlands
    • Interior forest habitat
    • Rare, threatened and endangered species habitat
    • Chesapeake Bay water quality improvement
  • Forest products utilization
  • Threatened by conversion to non-forest uses
focus areas to forest legacy areas
Focus Areas to …Forest Legacy Areas
  • Are there areas that didn’t show up as focus areas in our model that you think are important?
  • What is the correct size threshold for Forest Legacy Areas (currently 30,000 to 100,000 acres)?
  • Are there underlying ecological or economic elements that we missed?
  • What is the most appropriate way to delineate precise area boundaries based on physical and/or jurisdictional features?
    • County boundaries
    • Property boundaries
    • Water bodies
    • Roads
forest legacy areas to projects
Forest Legacy Areas to…Projects
  • Do you agree with our State Review and Prioritization Process as explained, including the Regional approach?
  • Do you have comments on the Evaluation Criteria for individual parcels?
    • Parcel Evaluation Tools
      • Ecological, Economic and Stewardship Values
      • Degree of Risk/Vulnerability to conversion
  • Should we begin to develop specific nomination thresholds?
    • Establish Value Thresholds
      • Example: minimum ecological value = High
do you think our approach is an objective and defensible one that
Do you think our approach is an objective and defensible one that…
  • Allows a rigorous, scientifically defensible approach for delineating Forest Legacy Areas and evaluating potential properties;
  • Improves Maryland’s ability to compete at a National level?
are there other criteria or programs that need to be more prominent in our approach
Are there other criteria or programs that need to be more prominent in our approach?
  • The Nature Conservancy Matrix Forest Blocks
  • Local Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plans (LPRP)
  • Local Land Use Controls
    • MDP parcelization studies
    • Zoning
  • Targeted Soil, Water and Air quality benefits
slide66

Matrix forest blocks: characteristics:

  • dominant native forest vegetation type
  • covers extensive areas (80% rule)
  • occurs over broad range of environmental conditions
  • structure & function driven by regional-scale processes
  • important habitat for wide-ranging species
  • embedded small & large patch communities

(multiple matrix forest types per ecoregion, at all scales)

slide67

Matrix Forest Blocks

TNC Prioritized Conservation Areas

Guiding conservation site selection

your final thoughts
Your Final Thoughts…
  • Do you have additional comments on the proposed process?
  • How should we treat the existing Forest Legacy Areas created in the 1995 AON?
  • Are there specific geographic areas or additional criteria we need to consider?
  • Should we move forward and continue to refine this process as described?
  • Where do we go from here?
slide69

2002 Forest Cover

Forest Cover

Forest Legacy Areas

Rural Legacy Areas

slide70

2002 Forest Cover

Forest Cover

Protected Lands

Acquisitions

Easements