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Benefits of the Landscape Project

In addition to providing habitat for the conservation of imperiled species, protecting critical wildlife areas will result in more open space for outdoor recreation. Recent surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that more than 60% of Americans participate in some form of wildlife-related recreation. Open spaces provide places where people can escape the confines of urban and suburban living. Retaining habitats in their natural state provides other benefits, such as reducing the threat of flooding, allowing for the biodegradation of environmental contaminants and recharging ground water reserves.

The Landscape Project identifies critical areas for imperiled species based on land-use/land-cover classifications and imperiled species locations. The maps enable state, county, municipal and private agencies to identify important areas and protect them in a variety of ways:

Prioritize conservation acquisitions: Critical area maps can be used to prioritize land parcels for purchase through acquisition programs such as Green Acres, Farmland Preservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's refuge system.

Guide management of already-conserved areas: New Jersey already has nearly 1 million acres of open space. These lands are managed by a variety of agencies and organizations, both public and private. Critical area maps identify important imperiled species habitats on these lands. Endangered and Nongame Species Program biologists work hand in hand with land managers and landowners to develop appropriate best management practices for the long-term conservation of imperiled species.

Guide regulators and planners: Critical area maps provide land-use regulators and state, county and local planners with the tools they need to enhance protection through the regulatory and planning process.

Provide citizens with conservation tools: Landscape Project products provide the tools to guide citizen actions to protect imperiled species habitat at the local level. Such efforts are currently underway in Chester Township in Morris County and Delaware Township in Hunterdon County.

About the Landscape Project
Need for the Landscape Project
Download Landscape Project GIS Data

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2012
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: February 21, 2012