The Conservation Almanac tracks information on parcels acquired using public dollars. In order to collect this information we contact local, state, and federal government agencies. The Trust for Public Land makes a conscientious effort to include only lands that are permanently conserved. Lands included in the Conservation Almanac encompass lands held in fee title for conservation purposes and lands over which conservation easements have been placed. The database does not report on leased lands, exchanges, or lands managed pursuant to contracts.
Information is collected at the parcel level for acquisitions completed in 1998 or beyond. We also include a “baseline” figure for each state. By this we mean a figure indicating how much land is publicly protected in that state.
Because it is not feasible for us to contact every city and county across the United States, we focus on collecting data from counties and cities that have passed a ballot measure to fund conservation land acquisition. For a list of these measures, visit www.landvote.org.
Data Not Included
Although very important in the conservation landscape, conservation land acquired through private or non-governmental organization (NGO) revenue streams is not collected comprehensively. If data are obtained as a result of other data collection efforts, we do include this information on private and NGO dollars spent. We also do not include leases or exchanges.
For comprehensive information on conservation easements held by Land Trusts, please visit www.conservationeasement.us.
Important to Note
State Data: In some instances, state agencies or programs are not able to provide the detailed parcel data that we request. If data was provided as an aggregate figure for a specific time frame we have distributed total acres acquired and dollars spent evenly by year. In this case, no spatial data is available.
Federal Data: Some federal programs or agencies are not able to provide all data requested. In these instances data are provided in the best available format. Attempts to gather this information will be made in subsequent updates to the Conservation Almanac.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation – Data pertinent to state trust lands and tribal lands were not included in the Conservation Almanac because of their uncertain status as conserved lands.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Transportation – Acquisition and cost data proved too difficult to gather and therefore are not included.
The Trust for Public Land thanks all local, state, and federal agencies for making the Conservation Almanac possible with their provision of acreage data, historical acquisition and expense data, and other pertinent information. TPL would also like to acknowledge the following resources that provided vital information regarding the content of the Conservation Almanac:
- Annual Report of Lands Under Control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Legacy Program National Report
- The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Land Areas Report
- The Wilderness Society’s compilation of LWCF appropriations
- Defenders of Wildlife’s Biodiversity Partnership website