Land Acquisition and Planning

Targeting and Ranking Land Conservation – How Land is Evaluated

Department objectives in creating the Targeting Process were:

  • To be more strategic since conservation opportunities exceed available funding
  • To target land conservation based on ecological priorities and public access
  • To create a more transparent process supported by science

The department evaluates all potential land acquisitions by using the following process.

First there is an Ecological Score

  • The department uses an ecological baseline to select “Targeted Ecological Areas” (TEAs)
    Click here for the Targeted Ecological Areas Map
  • Land is reviewed using a Green Infrastructure evaluation to looks at properties in relationship to connected hubs and corridors, ecologically significant areas, and restoration opportunities. The Green Infrastructure includes resource assessments highlighting Rare Species Habitat, Aquatic Life Hotspots and Water Quality Protection.

After thorough analysis the department will make onsite inspections to verify ecological benefits and cost factors.

Second, there is a People Score

The department will still buy some lands outside of the TEAs for exceptional recreational, cultural, historical, educational, water access, resource-based economic and in-holding/management purposes in existing department managed land and parks.

Some POS Stateside funding will also be used for the purchase of permanent Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easements. CREP easements make permanent the conservation practices established through 10 to 15 year CREP contracts.


For more information, click here to contact the regional administrators.