Successful conservation and restoration of wildlands depend on team work – from the first spark of an idea; through walking the land; collecting, mapping, and analyzing data; developing reports; acquiring funding; and finally project completion – many people are required to accomplish each project. Although LEGACY has produced a number of reports, most of our work is in data analysis and developing maps. Usually each map is created through a series of iterations by being passed back and forth with others working on the project. In this way each map is continually revised and refined, with most of the changes communicated through cyberspace. This is also how GIS data analysis occurs – at the same time as the mapping there are back-and-forth questions and answers between the clients and the GIS contractors who work for LEGACY.
Over the years, through this sort of teamwork, LEGACY has worked with various landowners, agencies, and conservation organizations in Del Norte, Lake, Mendocino, Solano and Sonoma Counties developing planning maps and reports for many types of land conservation projects.
We’ve mapped privately owned properties for
- Conservation easements
- Nonindustrial Timber Management Plans (NTMPs) for sustainable timber production
- California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) projects
- Wildfire hazard reduction plans
- Stream restoration projects and
- Road storm-proofing and erosion control plans
We’ve also created maps of land to be acquired for the public.
Of the many projects for which LEGACY has done mapping and analysis, five properties are now under permanent protection with conservation easements on more than 2,350 acres (3.7 square miles) of wildlife habitat, two properties have implemented NTMPs on 3,175 acres (5 sq mi), and five properties covering 233 acres (0.36 sq mi) have implemented CFIP and fire reduction plans.
In addition, LEGACY has created the preliminary maps for another five properties with a total of 4,929 acres (7.7 sq mi) that are currently in the planning process for conservation easements, with most mapping completed; one NTMP is completed for 1,376.65 acres (2.2 sq mi), though not yet implemented; and conservation easements are being considered for two more properties for another 3,246 acres (5 sq mi), LEGACY having created the preliminary maps for these. Most of the mapping projects on private land have been done in conjunction with Roger Sternberg Forestry & Land Conservation Consulting Services, although we’ve also worked with other restoration groups and land trusts.
Conservation easements typically require location, topo, soil, vegetation, site, and adjacent ownership maps. Large ownerships of thousands of acres usually require multiple iterations of certain maps in order to work out boundary line issues, ground truthing, changes due to evolving negotiations, and conflicting data. Different variations of a map may also be produced to emphasize certain aspects of the property which may be more valued by a particular funding organization. The process of developing a conservation easement or a Non-industrial Timber Management Plan for a very large property may, over time, require more than a hundred maps.
In addition to conservation easement, NTMP, and CFIP projects, LEGACY has provided restoration project planning maps and analysis for nearly 6 miles of Class I, salmonid bearing streams on three properties. These plans have now been implemented with erosion control, streambank stabilization, and riparian tree planting projects, as well as the reintroduction of Coho salmon on one of these streams.
We’ve also provided maps, for two different properties, for storm proofing and erosion control plans on a total of 22 miles of gravel roads. Both plans have been implemented, greatly reducing sediment pollution to salmonid bearing streams in those watersheds (see section under “Rural Road Assessments” at the bottom of this page for an explanation of the importance of rural road design to stream health).