Group Is Releasing Improved Conservation Lands Information

February 17, 2010

The Trust for Public Land is updating its online database that tracks a broad spectrum of conservation lands. The upgrade includes mapping and a finer level of detail, such as information at the county and parcel levels.

Lands covered include many state, county, city, and federally-assisted protected parcels, though there are gaps in the data for various reasons. Another category, private trust lands, is rarely covered, due to difficulties in getting the data, and the FOIA option isn't available, even though such lands benefit from publicly supported tax breaks. That's according to TPL's Ernest Cook, 617-697-7758; media contact, Tim Ahern, 415-495-4014.

Not all states are created equal in the TPL system. Full upgrades for FL, MA, MO, MT, and OR were unveiled Feb. 5, 2010, and AK, AZ, CO, ID, and WY are expected to be added later in February. More are scheduled to be rolled out regularly, lasting into 2012. Meanwhile, data through 2005, in the older format, is available for states yet to be updated.

Along with the parcel data, there is information for each state on applicable policies, conservation programs, dollars spent, management, and other aspects, providing a range of tools for comparing states.