Central Coast Greenprint 2016
datasetposted on 2019-11-22, 21:56 authored by James Thorne, Patrick Huber, Nancy Siepel, Ryan BoyntonRyan Boynton, Jackie Bjorkman
There are many datasets that can go into a regional greenprint. In order for them to be used most effectively, they need to be organized in a manner that allows queries across the data. A regular hexagonal grid shapefile was chosen to aggregate the many datasets. The hexagons were 10 hectares (24.7 acres) in extent. Aggregating the data in a shapefile such as this also enables analysis using Marxan optimization software. Ecological and infrastructure data were aggregated as fields within the shapefile.
Greenprint data were identified through team members’ knowledge of available data,internet searches, and discussions with stakeholders and others. These were downloaded or otherwise acquired and added to the hexagonal database (see below for specific sampling methods for each greenprint element).
Connectivity. Four connectivity assessments were included in the greenprint: California Essential Habitat Connectivity (CEHC; Spencer et al. 2010), Bay Area Critical Linkages (BACL; Penrod et al. 2013), a Central Coast conservation network design (Thorne; Thorne et al. 2006), and a Central Valley conservation network design (Huber; Huber et al. 2010). CEHC is a relatively coarse‐scale, statewide analysis of important connectivity areas and covers the full study area. BACL used many of the same methodologies as CEHC, but is finer‐scale. However, it does not cover San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Thorne uses a different methodology than the previous analysis; it covers the full study area. Finally, Huber only addresses the easternmost sections of the study area. It depicts areas of connectivity potentially linking the Central Coast and Central Valley ecoregions. In addition to these terrestrial datasets, a fish passage barrier was included in order to address aquatic connectivity issues. The California Fish Passage Assessment Database Project (PAD) documents the location and other details of barriers to fish passage on waterways across California. Hexagons were attributed as belonging to these datasets if their centroid was located within the boundary.
Critical Habitat. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has delineated Critical Habitat for 29 federally‐listed species within the study area (Table 1). This is less than one third of the listed species in the study area. Critical Habitat data are available for both terrestrial and aquatic species, and taxa include plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Hexagons were attributed as belonging to these datasets if their centroid was located within the boundary.
ACE II. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) developed a database with numerous biodiversity measurements for the state of California. These Areas of Conservation Emphasis (ACE II) is a hexagonal dataset measuring species richness, rarity, and other biodiversity metrics. Weighted rarity scores from ACE II were assigned to hexagons based on centroid location.
Other conservation priorities. The Nature Conservancy’s ecoregional priorities and Audubon society’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) were included as other conservation priorities covering the full study region.
Land cover. Unfortunately, there is no single, fine scale land cover dataset covering the full study region. Land cover information was combined from several to create an overall land cover dataset. CalVeg was used as the base layer. In areas that were not covered by CalVeg, we used a combination of Landfire land cover data and FRAP land cover data. In addition, the Nature Conservancy provided fine scale land cover data for the Salinas and San Benito river riparian areas.
Habitat models. The team compiled existing spatial data on the locations of state and federally‐listed species (threatened and endangered). These were selected from the statewide California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). Points selected were those that were listed as “Presumed Extant” and from 1980‐present. Each of these points was buffered by two and four miles. Using the California Wildlife Habitats Relationships model (CWHR), land cover types scored as “High” for use by that species were selected from within the buffered points.
Watersheds. Hexes were attributed for their inclusion in HUC 8, 10, and 12 digit watersheds.
Counties. Hexes were attributed for their inclusion in the six counties in the planning region.
Existing conservation. California Protected Areas Database (CPAD) and the National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) were used to identify existing conservation lands.
Local datasets. A total of 54 local, site‐specific datasets were included in the database. Examples include City of Santa Barbara biological features, Santa Cruz County blueprint, and mountain lion collar data.