The U.S. Geological Survey recently announced the release of its Protected Areas Database of the U.S. version 2.0. The update is an advance toward the long-term goal of a geospatial inventory that contains every public park and other protected area in America.
Mackenzie Case, geographic information systems and policy analyst, Lisa Johnson, conservation database manager, and Mason Croft, geographic information systems/integration analyst, worked on the project.
Part of a USGS Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit I grant received by John Freemuth supported the work. Freemuth is a Boise State professor and executive director of the Cecil D. Andrus Center for Public Policy.
The database is an official national inventory of lands held by cities, counties, special park and open-space districts, state parks and preserves as well as national parks and forests, national wildlife refuges, public lands and more. The inventory includes more than 360,000 sites managed by more than 18,000 public agencies and non-governmental organizations, totaling more than 9 billion acres of land and marine areas. It features management designations for conservation and for multiple uses such as forestry, energy, grazing and recreation.