Preserving Lands

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Chesapeake Bay Program Indicator Framework
Reporting Level Indicators
Indicator and Data Survey

A.  Category/Name/Source/Contact

(1) Category of Indicator
___ Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health
   X  Restoration and Protection Efforts
 ___ Watershed Health
 ___ Bay Health
(2) Name of Indicator:  Watershed Land Preservation

Description of dataset used to calculate percent of goal: 

 For what purpose(s) were the data collected? (e.g., tracking, research, or long-term monitoring.)

Tracking the Chesapeake 2000 land preservation goal to:

Strengthen programs for land acquisition and preservation within each state that are supported by funding and target the most valued lands for protection. Permanently preserve from development 20 percent of the land area in the watershed by 2010.

 Which parameters were measured directly? Which were obtained by calculation?

The parameter measured is “preserved land” in acre units.  For the purposes of this goal, “preserved land” includes land that is permanently protected from development with a perpetual conservation or open space easement or fee ownership, held by a federal, state or local government or non-profit organization for natural resource, forestry, agriculture, wildlife, recreation, historic, cultural, or open space use, or to sustain water quality and living resources.

Each jurisdiction (PA, VA, MD and DC) provides its own total preserved acreage to the Bay Program.  Acreages are not necessarily measured directly, but are derived by totaling acreages in identified land holdings, permits, conservation easements, fees, etc.   The indicator metric is shown as total acreage for the watershed, i.e., the cumulative sum of the individual state acreages in preservation.  The states report preserved land acreage by entity, e.g. federal, state, local, private/nonprofit lands. 

(4) Source(s) of Data:

 Is the complete data set accessible, including metadata, data-dictionaries and embedded definitions?  If yes, please indicate where complete dataset can be obtained. 

A document summarizing the definitions, procedures and assumptions used by the states to assemble the baseline data and annual updates has been drafted: Summary of Preserved Lands in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed – A Baseline of Existing Lands. January 2001.  This document is available on request from the Healthy Watersheds Goal Implementation Team Coordinator.

Basin-wide data sets and metadata as compiled by CBPO are available at

(5) Custodian of Source Data (and Indicator, if different):

Custodians of the primary source data are the States.  The individual contacts are:
David Boyd, VA DCR
(804) 371-4801

Betty Ann Blanchard, MD DNR 
(410) 260-8829

Anne Ketchum
DC:  N/A

(6) CBPO Contact: 

Jake Reilly, Chesapeake Research Consortium/CBPO
(410) 267-5737

B.  Communication Questions

(complete either part 1, 2, or 3)
1.  Restoration and Protection Efforts indicators only
(7a) How much has been completed since 1985 (or baseline year)?  How much has been completed since 2000? 1,119,915 acres have been preserved between 2000 (year goal established) and 2009.
 (8a) How much was done last year?

State 2009 Acres
MD 56,931
PA 16242
VA 59,700
DC 0
Total 132,873
(9a) What is the current status in relation to a goal?

The basin-wide goal to permanently preserve from development 20 percent (6,813,524 acres) of the land area in the watershed by 2010 has been achieved.

State Total Acres Acres Preserved thru 6/30/2009 Percent Protected Percent of Goal
MD 6,208,025 1,403,032 23% 113%
PA 14,522,124 3,175,992 22% 109%
VA 13,831,890 2,554,427 18% 92%
DC 39,000 6692 17% 86%
Total 34,601,039 7,140,143   105%
(10a) What does this indicator tell us?

The population in the Chesapeake Bay watershed continues to grow. By 2020, it’s expected that more than 18 million people will live in the region.  The supporting development and land conversion that this growth implies rank among the top stressors to the Bay’s ecosystem and a major threat to its restoration and protection.  One strategy to combat loss of high value lands is to permanently preserve them from development. The Land Preservation commitment calls for the permanent preservation of 20% of the land area in the watershed—or 6,920,208 acres-- by 2010. Progress has been made toward this commitment: The total land area preserved is currently at 7,140,143 acres, which is 105% of goal.
(11a) Why is it important to report this information?
This information directly report progress towards a land preservation commitment from the Chesapeake 2000 agreement. 
(12a) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator? (Detail and diagnostic indicators can be spatially-specific, parameter-specific, temporally-specific information, etc.) 

• Forest Buffers*
• Harmful Sprawl*
• Resource Lands Assessment (RLA) (summary mapping of high value lands)* 

*Note that the supporting data for these diagnostic indicators are not subsets of, or directly linked to, or derived from the Preserved Lands data.

2.  Bay Health or Watershed Health indicators only
(7b) What is the long-term trend?  (since start of data collection)
(8b) What is the short-term trend? (3 to 5 year trend)
(9b) What is the current status in relation to a goal?
(10b) What is the key story told by this indicator?
(11b) Why is it important to report this information?
(12b) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator?
3.  Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health indicators only
(7c) What is the long-term trend?  (since start of data collection)
(8c) What is the short-term trend? (3 to 5 year trend)
(9c) What is the current status?
(10c) What is the key story told by this indicator?
(11c) Why is it important to report this information?
(12c) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator?

C.  Temporal Considerations

(13) Data Collection Date(s):

 July 1 through July 30

(14) Planned Update Frequency (e.g. - annual, bi-annual):

(a) Source Data:  Annual – After June 30

 (b) Indicator: Annual – After State submission of source data to CBPO

(15) For annual reporting, month spatial data is available for reporting:

 Preserved lands data is not spatially explicit.

D.  Spatial Considerations

(16) Type of Geography of Source Data (point, line polygon, other): 

 Data are non-spatial.

(17) Acceptable Level of Spatial Aggregation (e.g. - county, state, major basin, tributary basin, HUC): 

Data is reported by each state but the metric is reported only watershed-wide scale.

(18) Are there geographic areas with missing data?  If so, where?

 See above

(19) The spatial extent of this indicator best described as:
(a) Chesapeake Bay (estuary)
(b) Chesapeake Bay Watershed
(c) Other (please describe): 

The signatory states and DC provide tabular summaries of preserved lands by Entity (Federal, Local, Non-profit, Private, State lands).  These data may are summed to obtain total acreage by State and further aggregated to obtain a total for the watershed.

Please submit any appropriate examples of how this information has been mapped or otherwise portrayed geographically in the past.

(20) Can appropriate diagnostic indicators be represented geographically?

Harmful Sprawl (as measured by a surrogate – impervious cover), Forest Buffers and the Resource Lands Assessment data can be represented geographically, to large extent.

E.  Data Analysis and Interpretation

(Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation if hard to find.)
(21) Is the conceptual model used to transform these measurements into an indicator widely accepted as a scientifically sound representation of the phenomenon it indicates?  (i.e., how well do the data represent the phenomenon?)  

There is little data transformation.  The indicator is a representation of acreage (obtained by summation) and the percent of preserved acreage by entity based on total acreage in each jurisdiction.

(22) What is the process by which the raw data is summarized for development and presentation of the indicator?    
The primary source data are managed, manipulated and reported by the states and these jurisdictional processes for summarizing the data for submission to the CBPO are unknown.  At CBPO, the summarized data are maintained as Excel spreadsheets. Aggregation to the watershed level is done by through summation by Excel.

(23) Are any tools required to generate the indicator data (e.g. - Interpolator, watershed model)?


(24) Are the computations widely accepted as a scientifically sound?

 The data rely on simple summation and percentages.

 (25) Have appropriate statistical methods been used to generalize or portray data beyond the time or spatial locations where measurements were made (e.g., statistical survey inference, no generalization is possible)?


(26) Are there established reference points, thresholds or ranges of values for this indicator that unambiguously reflect the desired state of the environment? (health/stressors only)


F.  Data Quality

(Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation if hard to find.)
(27) Were the data collected according to an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Plan?


(28a) Are the sampling design, monitoring plan and/or tracking system used to collect the data over time and space based on sound scientific principles?


(28b) What documentation clearly and completely describes the underlying sampling and analytical procedures used?

(28c) Are the sampling and analytical procedures widely accepted as scientifically and technically valid?


(28d) To what extent are the procedures for quality assurance and quality control of the data documented and accessible?
(29) Are the descriptions of the study or survey design clear, complete and sufficient to enable the study or survey to be reproduced?


(30) Were the sampling and analysis methods performed consistently throughout the data record?


(31) If datasets from two or more agencies are merged, are their sampling designs and methods comparable?


(32) Are uncertainty measurements or estimates available for the indicator and/or the underlying data set? 


(33) Do the uncertainty and variability impact the conclusions that can be inferred from the data and the utility of the indicator?


(34) Are there noteworthy limitations or gaps in the data record?  Please explain. 


G.  Additional Information


(35) Please provide any other information about this indicator you believe is necessary to aid communication and any prevent potential miss-representation.This page has no content. Enrich by contributing.

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