Landscape Intactness (1 km), California

Dec 16, 2016 (Last modified Oct 25, 2018)
This dataset provides an estimate of terrestrial landscape intactness, (i.e. condition), based on the extent to which human impacts such as agriculture, urban development, natural resource extraction, and invasive species have disrupted the landscape across the State of California. Terrestrial intactness values are high in areas where these impacts are low.  
This dataset, updated December 2016, is the most recent version (v30) created for the California Energy Commission using the open-source logic modeling framework Environmental Evaluation Modeling System (EEMS). Spatially-explicit logic modeling hierarchically integrates numerous and diverse datasets into composite layers, quantifying information in a continuous rather than binary fashion. This technique yields accessible decision-support products that state and federal agencies can use to craft scientifically-rigorous management strategies. The analysis was carried out at 1 sq. km resolution.

Online interactive maps showing the intactness model’s input data, intermediate layers, and final results can be explored via the Conservation Biology Institute’s tools: EEMS Explorer on Data Basin ( and EEMS Online ( Users can explore, modify, and run the landscape intactness and other EEMS models (e.g. change thresholds) on EEMS Online.

The California Statewide Landscape Intactness model integrates data from many different sources: agriculture development (from FRAP Vegetation, and CDL Cropscape), urban development (from LANDFIRE EVT and NLCD Impervious Surfaces), polluted areas (from NHD treatment ponds and EPA Superfund and Brownfield sites), linear development (OHV routes from, roads from TIGER (broken down by type), utility lines, railroads, and pipelines from various state and BLM sources), point development (communication towers from the FCC), energy and mining development (from the state’s Office of Mine Reclamation mine dataset, larger mine footprints, state geothermal wells, USGS wind turbines, solar footprints, renewable projects in development, oil refineries and state oil/gas wells), clear cuts from Statewide Timber Harvest Plans, invasive vegetation (compiled from multiple sources including LANDFIRE EVT, NatureServe Landcover, and NISIMS BLM database), and measures of natural vegetation fragmentation calculated using FRAGSTATS (percent natural core area, number of patches, and nearest neighbor). Results are dependent on the quality of available input data for a given area.  

Input data range in currency from 2011-2015; the majority of data portray the more recent condition of the landscape. Results apply to terrestrial areas only. (Water bodies are omitted from the final dataset.)

Caution is warranted in interpreting this dataset because it provides a single estimate of terrestrial intactness based on available data. It does not directly address ecological value; the “Conservation Values/Attributes” model does. The degree of terrestrial intactness likely varies for a particular species or conservation element, and may depend on additional factors or thresholds not included in this model. This model should be taken as a general measure of intactness that can serve as a template for evaluating across many species at the ecoregion scale, and provides a framework within which species-specific parameters can be incorporated for more detailed analyses.
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Conservation Biology Institute

Thank you to the state, federal, NGO, and private organizations and programs who provided input data for this analysis:

California Energy Commission, FRAP, USDA CDL Cropscape, LANDFIRE, USGS NHD & NLCD, EPA,, TIGER, DRECP, BLM, FCC, CA Office of Mine Reclamation, CA Statewide Timber Harvest Plans, LANDFIRE, NatureServe.
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Input data currency range: 2011-2015
Degagne, R., J. Brice, M. Gough, T. Sheehan, and J. Strittholt. Terrestrial Landscape Intactness 1 km, California. Conservation Biology Institute, December 2016. From
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1 sq km
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Conservation Biology Institute
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Conservation Biology Institute

The Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) provides scientific expertise to support the conservation and recovery of biological diversity in its natural state through applied research, education, planning, and community service.