RPA / America 2050 launched today its inventory of landscape conservation initiatives in the northeastern United States. The inventory is the first phase of a larger effort by RPA / America 2050 to help landscape initiatives succeed in implementing their conservation goals. A key challenge for the protection of water, habitat and other natural resources is placing these concerns into the broader policy framework of land use decision making and infrastructure investment. Landscape-scale efforts are often the right tool for advancing meaningful conservation because of their ability to span multiple jurisdictions and develop strategies that consider whole systems and processes.
The website provides information on 145 landscape initiatives underway in the 13 state Northeast Megaregion. Its interactive design enables visitors to browse the entire list, search the site for a specific initiative, or generate new lists and maps based on a variety of criteria. Viewers can also nominate new initiatives and suggest edits to the existing inventory. Profiles of each initiative are based on published material, project websites, and some direct conversation with project staff.
Over the next few months, RPA / America 2050 will be adding other elements to this landscape atlas, including a build out projection of urbanization to 2050 and maps showing conservation and development context of these initiatives. A report on our findings from this research and an upcoming conference inviting landscape professionals to discuss shared challenges and opportunities will follow. This project is supported by grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area.