The Open Space Council Blog


What’s Happening Now with the Conservation Lands Network

March 25, 2019


There is a lot happening now with the Conservation Lands Network 2.0 Science Expansion. And we’re excited to tell you about it.

Before we share more about what’s happening now, let’s start with where we’ve been.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Bay Area Open Space Council partnered with 125 regional experts to develop the Conservation Lands Network (CLN) as a tool for conservation practitioners, landowners, land managers, policy makers and the public. The CLN is a regional vision and guide to protect the Bay Area’s irreplaceable landscapes. It consists of maps like these, GIS data like these, and this report.

In 2014 we released a progress report that looked at key indicators like protected lands, biodiversity, water resources, and stewardship. The progress report included these county maps which made it easier to understand and apply the CLN to local conservation efforts.

And in 2016 we launched the CLN 2.0 Science Expansion.

The Science Expansion is updating and enhancing a regional upland habitat conservation vision. This means we’re looking afresh at the vision, goals, and network identified in 2011 for the lands essential for biodiversity in the 10 counties of the Bay Area. This summer we will launch the new Explorer tool and GIS data, and this fall we will publish the report.

We’re learning a lot.

Like from our plant and wildlife focus teams, we’re learning that:

And from our conservation scientists, we’re learning that climate-smart conservation involves protecting corridors that lead not only to diverse habitats but diverse landscape conditions, especially wet, cool, and intact areas. The tools and reports we are producing will feature data that show where these areas are in the Bay Area.

Many hands, hearts, and minds are involved in the Science Expansion.

The project team is led by Tom Robinson, Stu Weiss is the science advisor, and GreenInfo Network is the data and map lead. The Steering Committee consists of 34 leaders around the region who provide overall guidance to the project. The Focus Teams are providing valuable insights from down in the proverbial weeds on vegetation; mammals; birds; fish and riparian habitats; amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates; funding, policy and land use; rangelands; and stewardship. Katie Dudney and Jayita Bhojwani are volunteering their time and significantly contributing to the project. And there are more. Check out the 100+ people involved here.

You’ll be hearing more from us as we head into the home stretch on this multi-year project. Stay tuned!

Got questions? Want to get involved? Email Tom Robinson at [email protected]

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