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New resource empowers communities in New York to protect natural assets

The Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program has developed a new gallery on Data Basin that provides access to the best available information in the region on locally occurring natural resources in the Empire State.
New resource empowers communities in New York to protect natural assets

The New York State Tools for Land Use Planning gallery offers datasets and guidance materials for applying them, including case studies for nine towns in the Adirondacks.

Every community has something to be proud of -- local traditions, cultural landmarks, a distinct place in history -- but many communities have more that sets them apart than they realize: rare habitats and natural features that play a critical role in sustaining fish and wildlife across the entire region.

Now there is a way for every community in New York to discover what makes it special by nature.

With support from the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, the Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program has developed a free online resource that provides a portal for people in New York State to discover the natural assets within their communities, and learn how to protect them with planning tools designed to support the long-term needs of people and wildlife.

The New York State Tools for Land Use Planning gallery -- now available on the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative Conservation Planning Atlas on Data Basin-- provides free access to the best available information in the region on locally occurring natural resources.

With access to regionally consistent datasets that highlight significant habitats, resilient sites, areas of high ecological integrity, and more:

  • Communities can see how they fit into the big landscape picture, and learn how to act locally to support regional biodiversity
  • Conservation partners can align efforts to protect and connect priority resources across the region through strategic outreach to municipalities

In addition to maps, the gallery provides a number of guidance materials, including a set of Conservation Profiles for nine towns in New York. These clear, colorful case studies demonstrate how the information can be used to identify, map, and highlight natural assets, and to view locally occurring resources in the context of a larger region.

"Having so much data compiled in one place will make it much more accessible for communities working on comprehensive plans and other projects that can benefit from land use information,” said Katie Malinowski, Executive Director of the Tug Hill Commission.

“The conservation profiles in particular are a great way to make things simple and easy to understand for volunteer boards with limited resources available to them."

To explore the maps and information visit: New York State Tools for Land Use Planning: Gallery

For more information contact: Zoë Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program Director at

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