Completed: Dec 01, 2009

Conservation Assessment of Orange County, California

Establishing specific conservation objectives to improve landscape integrity and connectivity


Patricia Gordon-Reedy, M.A.
Botanist | Vegetation Ecologist

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.

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