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Volume 29
Number 2
Fall/Winter 2012-2013
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Small photo of a map of the southwestern United States depicting lands in the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS preferred alternative that are potentially viable for utility-scale solar development. Case Study
Resource-conflict analysis: A geospatial approach to assessing energy development threats to landscapes in the Southwest
By Dan McGlothlin, Peter Budde, and Kirk Sherrill
Published: 15 Jan 2014 (online)  •  30 Jan 2014 (in print)
Pages
 
Abstract
  Introduction
Solar energy development in the Southwest
Solar PEIS overview
Scale of potential development on public lands and implications
NPS involvement
Analysis approach and methods
Results of analysis
Lessons learned from case study
Conclusion
Literature cited
About the authors
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Introduction

Analyzing and mitigating cumulative environmental, social, and economic impacts for the protection of national park resources and values is a difficult task that is made more complex when landscape-scale actions may affect multiple parks and regions. In order for the National Park Service to respond with consistency to these types of situations a bureau-wide methodology needs to be established. Use of available geospatial data and analytic tools to assess potential risks of proposed land use actions external to parks pre­sents a viable approach for stimulating a critical dialogue among NPS resource management specialists and with groups proposing land use actions. The recent process outlined in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States (Solar PEIS) highlighted the benefit of adopting this approach to addressing potential resource conflicts across broad geographic extents (fig. 1). The geospatial resource conflict analysis (RCA) approach we report here engaged multiple levels in the NPS organization and incorporated authoritative resource data sources (see sidebar “Data sources”) in the assessment. Moreover, the experience highlighted the potential for the National Park Service to respond in a way that minimizes park-by-park variability in evaluation of risk and consistently reflects bureau-wide policy and program decisions.

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This page updated:  16 April 2013
URL: http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/index.cfm?ArticleID=585&Page=1



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New recreational water testing alternatives
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Sidebar: Data sources
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