Digital Mapping Technology Helps RCA Visualize Land Conservation Efforts
Implementing one of the largest conservation plans in the nation is no easy feat. As the agency overseeing the implementation of the MSHCP, the RCA bears many responsibilities to ensure the assembly of a 500,000-acre reserve. From land acquisition and management to habitat monitoring and application review for infrastructure projects, there is a flurry of activity that takes place within the RCA.
But how are conservation goals tracked? Digital mapping tools allow the RCA to produce data visualization of its progress through land acquisition. The Reserve Assembly Acreage Summary dashboard provides the latest status of conserved land within the MSHCP – making it an ideal starting point for those learning about the plan. The MSHCP Information Map allows users to engage with an interactive map of the assembly reserve that includes toggleable layers to refine queries. Users can access an array of visual data that includes conserved lands, criteria cells, and even species survey areas of burrowing owls, amphibians, and mammals such as the kangaroo rat.
For users interested in learning more, the RCA prepares the MSHCP Annual Report and Rough Step Balance dashboards. Rough Step is a performance measure written in the MSHCP. Rough Step is intended to ensure that conservation efforts are in balance with development. Adherence to Rough Step is an important policy to which cities and the County have agreed as signatories to the MSHCP.