High Quality FIDS Habitat
This indicator was developed using National Land Cover Data set (NLCD) information and State Highway Administration roads data and using the Forest Interior Dwelling Species (FIDS) guidance paper for the Critical Area, applied statewide. High Quality FIDS Habitat is defined as a predominantly mature hardwood or mixed hardwood‑pine forest tract, at least 100 acres in size, of which forest interior habitat comprises at least 25% of the total forest area. This habitat also must contain one or more of the following:
Only the first two of these conditions could be determined using GIS. Thus the indicator may somewhat underestimate the amount of high quality FIDS habitat statewide.
FIDS habitat, as suggested elsewhere, is a relatively scarce landscape feature and is vulnerable to destruction as land is converted to agricultural or, more common in recent decades, urban uses. Fragmentation or reduction in size of large forest blocks needs to be minimized as part of the land development process. Where FIDS are present, maintenance of mature, closed canopy forests should be an objective in forestry practices in order to maintain high quality habitat.