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
Suggested citation for this article:
McGlothlin, D., P. Budde, and K. Sherrill. 2013. Resource-conflict analysis: A geospatial approach to assessing energy development threats to landscapes in the Southwest. Park Science 29(2):23–33.
Available at http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/archive/PDF/Article_PDFs/ParkScience29(2)FallWinter2012-2013_23-33_McGlothlin_et_al_3635.pdf.
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