Guides & Case Studies

Analyzing and interpreting spatial information.

Conservation Easements in Colorado’s Front Range

A GIS-Based Assessment to Determine the Extent Conservation Easements Protect Biodiversity

Biodiversity in the Colorado Front Range is a critical component for the sustainable development of the region (Chivian and Bernstein, 2010; Pague, et. al, 1996; Pague, et. al, 1993). Conservation easements (CEs) are one tool used by non-profit groups and government agencies to protect biodiversity. However, establishing CEs is, at times, unpredictable (Axel-Lute, 1999). They are often a result of donated gifts or opportunistic purchases. Therefore, they can lack long-term strategic planning to protect biodiversity (Whittaker, 1999; Daniels and Daniels, 2003). This project used a GIS-based analysis to measure the extent CEs have protected high biodiversity areas from development along Colorado's Front Range. Land trusts, as well as other conservation organizations, can use this information to improve the strategic targeting of CEs to protect biodiversity.

Potential Conservation Areas (PCAs) were used as the focal point to measure the extent CEs protect biodiversity. PCAs are ...