Conservation Assessment of Orange County, California
CBI staff worked with the Orange County Tranportation Authority (OCTA) and members of OCTA's Mitigation and Resource Protection Program Environmental Oversight Committee Working Group to conduct a science-based conservation assessment to describe and map selected conservation values across Orange County. This assessment provides a tool to assist decision-makers in prioritizing lands for acquisition for Measure M mitigation purposes. The objectives of this study were to:
- Develop an objective, science-based process for focusing decision-making on regional conservation priorities.
- Using existing data and applying NCCP tenets of conservation planning, map the distribution of conservation values of undeveloped lands in Orange County, including both protected and unprotected lands.
- Identify components of a regional reserve network, focusing on adding to existing reserve areas to build large core habitat areas with habitat linkages between them to enhance their persistence.
- Develop specific conservation objectives to maximize conservation values for each core and linkage area.
- Based on these conservation objectives, identify areas where conservation of biological resources should be prioritized to improve landscape integrity and connectivity, protect rare species and their habitats, and ensure long-term persistence of natural processes.