Thanks for your interest in this map
The Mateel Region Conservation Context map is a thematic map that gives the reader a quick overview and sense of the conservation levels (or lack thereof) over the Mateel Region. The map was originally started in 1998 by Trees Foundation GIS specialist and graphic designer Scott LaMorte for Piercy-based activist Jeff Hedin of Piercy Watersheds Association, a Trees Foundation Partner Group. They worked on it for years before first publishing it in 2002.
Over the years the map has been edited by Trees GIS specialist Matt Dicks, with updates that were used for outreach by tireless local organizers. What I appreciate about this map is that, at a glance, one gets a full-spectrum awareness of what is protected, and the vast amount of forests held by commercial timber interests.
Over the years paper versions of this map served as a valuable organizing tool while tabling at events and other public meetings. Ideally it helped educate, connect with, and organize many. Even though it doesn’t take the place of real human contact, it seems like an obvious move to offer a geographical representation of the regional conservation landscape on a digital platform.
Scott LaMorte’s original work is updated here
Scott LaMorte’s original work is updated here with data from the 2020 USGS Protected Area Database (PAD), GAP status classification data. The GAP status system categorizes the conservation status of public or privately protected areas into 4 classes, which gives you a sense of protection levels.
The following explanations of the classes are taken from the above USGS link:
Status 1: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a natural state within which disturbance events (of natural type, frequency, intensity, and legacy) are allowed to proceed without interference or are mimicked through management.
Examples of Status 1: National Parks, Wilderness Areas
Status 2: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a primarily natural state, but which may receive uses or management practices that degrade the quality of existing natural communities, including suppression of natural disturbance.
Examples of Status 2: National Wildlife Refuges, State Parks, The Nature Conservancy Preserves
Status 3: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover for the majority of the area, but subject to extractive uses of either a broad, low-intensity type (e.g., logging, Off Highway Vehicle recreation) or localized intense type (e.g., mining). It also confers protection to federally listed endangered and threatened species throughout the area.
Examples of Status 3: National Forests, BLM Lands, State Forests, some State Parks
Status 4: There are no known public or private institutional mandates or legally recognized easements or deed restrictions held by the managing entity to prevent conversion of natural habitat types to anthropogenic habitat types. The area generally allows conversion to unnatural land cover throughout or management intent is unknown. Examples of Status 4: Unknown areas, private lands, developed or agriculture areas
The map also includes the class Industrial Timber Production land
On the opposite end of the conservation spectrum, the map also includes the class Industrial Timber Production land. The Industrial Timber Production layer has been updated with 2021 ownership data of the current large industrial timber companies in the region. I found it eye-opening to see the vast amount of the remaining Temperate Coastal forests of Humboldt County continue to be industrially logged.
Other land-use classes on the map include Private Conservation Easements and Ranch Lands, which lie somewhere along the conservation spectrum. For example, the Redwood Forest Foundation Incorporated (RFFI) holdings are represented as its own class since it is a hybrid between commercial logging and conservation easement.
This Mateel Regional Conservation Context map is a work in progress
This Mateel Regional Conservation Context map is a work in progress, so readers are welcome to point out errors or omissions. (We are aware that the Ranch Land category is probably missing many ranches.) This map was originally made for print, and some of the original metadata on the GIS layers have unfortunately fallen through the cracks and were not recorded.
Looking towards the future The Trees Foundation hopes to update this map with hotspots as they happen and provide links to new (and archived) articles. We hope we can help geographically orient individuals who would continue the legacy of fighting for the vast and beautiful wild lands of the Humboldt region.
*Special thanks to Jeff Hedin and Rob DiPerna who have made themselves constantly available to consult with.
-Data sources for parcel ownership: Dynamo Spatial LLC