The human footprint in the American West
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The human footprint in the American West

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This EcoWest presentation examines land-use patterns in the American West and explains how humans are impacting the landscape through population growth, energy development, and other activities. Learn ...

This EcoWest presentation examines land-use patterns in the American West and explains how humans are impacting the landscape through population growth, energy development, and other activities. Learn more at EcoWest.org.

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  • Let’s begin by getting oriented and understanding the lay of the land in the West.
  • Narrative: The preponderance of public land is one of the West’s defining features. This graphic shows that nearly half of the 11 Western states are owned by the federal government. The biggest landowner in the West is the Bureau of Land Management, followed by the Forest Service. Outside of the West and Alaska, there’s very little federal land in other states.Source: Bureau of Land Management, Wilkinson, Charles F. Crossing the Next Meridian. Washington, DC:Island Press, 1992.URL: http://www.blm.gov/public_land_statistics/pls11/pls2011.pdf
  • Narrative: This graphic shows how land use and land type differ according to the owner. Virtually all cropland, for instance, is privately owned. Public land, whether owned by the federal, state, or other form of government, tends to have a mix of land types. Federal lands in the West include undeveloped parks and wilderness areas, rangeland grazed by livestock, national forests that may or may not be logged, and a variety of other land uses.Source: USDA Economic Research ServiceURL: http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/250065/eib14j_1_.pdfNotes: Over 60 percent of the land in the United States is privately owned.The Federal Government is the next largest landowner with more than28 percent, mostly in the West. State and local governments own nearly 9 percent and Indian trust land accounts for over 2 percent. These proportions change only gradually over time, except in Alaska, where large areas of Federal land have been transferred to State and native (private) ownership. Federal land, at 635 million acres in 2002, includes the original public domain and land acquired by purchase and other means. Total federally owned land decreased by about 12 million acres between 1997 and 2002. About 37 percent of all Federal land is in Alaska, 41 percent in the Mountain region, and 14 percent in the Pacific region. The remaining 9 percent is distributed among the other eight farm production regions and Hawaii, with the largest portion—nearly 2 percent of all Federal land—in the Lake States. About 152 million acres of Federal grassland and a portion of Federal forestland are used for grazing. Livestock can also graze some of the special-use and miscellaneous land. Federal land also includes forest land in special uses and miscellaneous other land, such as marshes, open swamps, bare rock areas, desert, and other uses not inventoried.State and local governments have accumulated landholdings of various sizes through grants from the Federal Government, tax reversions, purchases, gifts, and escheats. These publicly administered areas are distributedthroughout the Nation more evenly than Federal land, but are still highly concentrated in the Western States. State and local governments hold land for forests, parks, wildlife refuges, highways and roads, institutional uses,and other specific purposes. Most Western States also own relatively large acreages to earn income, provide financial support to schools, and meet other objectives. About 40 million acres in this category are used forgrazing. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) manages 56 million acres in trust for American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes and individuals. Like Federal and State land, most land managed by BIA is concentrated in the Western States. About 36 million acres is grazing land, and a small acreage is used for crop production. Private land, except that under American Indian and Alaska Native ownership, totaled nearly 1.4 billion acres in 2002. Between 1997 and 2002, private ownership increased in forest-use land by 2 million acres and in special uses, urban, and miscellaneous by a total of 17 million acres. Privately owned land includes 99 percent of the Nation's cropland, 61 percent of the grassland pasture and range, 56 percent of the forest-use land, and 30 percent of the special-use, urban, and miscellaneous land. Land use is closely interlinked with land ownership, and these proportions reflect historic land management priorities. During the 19th century, Federal agencies actively encouraged westward settlement and economic development through the selective transfer of the more productive agricultural lands from Federal ownership to private companies and individuals (Wiebe et al., 1997). At the beginning of the 20th century, the emphasis of land-use policies has evolved to balance private economic interests with the provision of recreation, wilderness and wildlife, and environmental and resource conservation.
  • Narrative: This map shows what percentage of each state is owned by the federal government. Trust lands, mostly Indian reservations, are not included. Nevada and Alaska top the list and all Western states have at least 30 percent of their land under federal control. Back east, New Hampshire, Vermont, and of course the District of Columbia, have the most federal land.Source: U.S. General Services Administration, Federal Real Property Profile 2004URL: http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/ogp/Annual_Report__FY2004_Final_R2M-n11_0Z5RDZ-i34K-pR.pdfNotes: Excludes trust properties. Adapted from map in Kennedy, Donald, “Can the West Lead Us to a Better Place?,” Stanford Magazine, May/June 2008. http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2008/mayjun/features/west.html
  • Narrative: Here we see all of the states that have at least 10 percent of land owned by the federal government. Western states are at the top, but it’s worth noting that the rate of federal ownership varies from around 30 percent in Montana and Washington to nearly 85 percent in Nevada. Source: U.S. General Services Administration, Federal Real Property Profile 2004URL: http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/ogp/Annual_Report__FY2004_Final_R2M-n11_0Z5RDZ-i34K-pR.pdfNotes: Excludes trust properties
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at the mosaic of land ownership and land uses in the West and elsewhere. The black on this map shows urbanized areas. You can see that there are far more big cities back East, but the West certainly has its share, especially along and near the Pacific Coast. Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes: PAD-US 1.1 (CBI Edition) is a comprehensive geospatial data set of United States protected areas, including detailed information on land ownership, management and conservation status. Our goal is to regularly compile and publish national, state and local protected areas information (public and private) that we obtain through an established network of data providers. Protected areas data are collected from these sources and aggregated into a standard framework. Challenges related to the incompleteness of source data, varied formats, data structures, and accuracy are reconciled as much as possible, but this effort is an ongoing process of steady improvement. A unique collaborative process with leading data providers across the nation ensures that source information flows into this database and back to the providers in an iterative fashion. This version substantially improves our national inventory of protected lands. PAD-US 1.1 (CBI Edition) provides the spatial foundation by which users can conceptualize our national conservation landscape. CBI will release an updated version of PAD-US annually.
  • Narrative: In the eastern half of the country, the bulk of the land is unprotected and privately owned. There’s also plenty of that in the West, in places like the Central Valley in California, Southeast Washington, and Eastern Montana. But especially in the inland West, much of the land is either federal, state, or tribal.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Let’s start filling in more landowners, beginningwith a couple minor players, such as parcels that have a variety of owners, depicted here in pink.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Thereare also some private lands dedicated to conservation, seen here in yellow. They’re typically smaller parcels and scattered so they don’t show up well on a national map, but these lands are critical to conservation and we return to them in our discussion of land trusts.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Orange represents local or regional land agencies, such as those run by cities or counties. Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Now let’s start talking about some of the major players. Especially in the West, but also in some parts of the upper Midwest and Northeast, a fair amount of land is controlled by the state government. Out West, these acres were generally given to the states by the federal government when territories entered the union, and typically states are supposed to raise money for their public schools by selling some of these lands to the highest bidder. But the parcels tend to be scattered and intermixed with federal lands.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Tribal land covers large parts of Arizona and New Mexico and it’s found in every Western state.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: But the biggest player is clearly the federal government. Within that green, there are many different agencies in charge of how the land is managed, and each has its own mission and mandate.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at how federal land breaks down.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Military training and weapons experiments take place on lands controlled by the Departments of Defense and Energy. Some of these places, such as the fabled Area 51 in Southern Nevada, are top secret, but portions of others, such as the Barry M. Goldwater bombing range in Southwest Arizona, are open to recreational users who get a special permit.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Interior Department, manages some very sizable national wildlife refuges, often to benefit endangered species and waterfowl. Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Our national parks protect some of the nation’s most spectacular scenery and ecosystems. Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: Many of the mountainous areas of the west are under the purview of the Forest Service, although there are also some national forests back east.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: But the biggest federal landowner is the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, which controls many of the lower elevation federal lands that lie in the basins between mountains.Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology InstituteURL: http://databasin.org/protected-center/features/PAD-US-CBINotes:
  • Narrative: All of those federal agencies grant varying levels of protection to the land they manage, with traditional industries such as logging, mining, and ranching allowed in many areas, but prohibited in many wilderness areas, parks, and other preserves. But something like a housing development, shopping mall, or farm isn’t allowed on federal land and one of the most striking features of the West is that a relatively large portion of the region enjoys some form of protected status. Most of the West’s ecoregions—areas that are like ecological neighborhoods--have at least 20 percent of their area protected, reflecting the predominance of public lands in these inland, arid areas. The rate is somewhat lower along the California Coast and in the plains east of the Rocky Mountains. Very little land is protected in California’s Central Valley and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Source: Hoekstra et al. The Atlas Of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2010URL: http://www.nature.org/ourscience/sciencefeatures/conservation-atlas.xml http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=09fe3f2e8cf1402281339f0e17924e9aNotes: We derived estimates of protected area coverage from the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA, UNEP/IUCN 2007) with supplements for the United States (CBI 2006) and Australia (CAPAD 2006). The WDPA is the most comprehensive global catalog of protected areas and includes data about their sizes, locations, and IUCN classifications of management designation. The WDPA was assembled by a broad alliance of organizations that aimed to maintain a freely available, accurate, and current database that is accepted as a global standard by all stakeholders.The distribution of all protected areas was mapped in a Geographic Information System and then summarized to calculate the total area of all protected areas in each ecoregion and biome, respectively. We included all categories of protected areas in our estimates, except those that lacked location data or that had nonpermanent status. Protected areas with only point location and area data were mapped as circles with appropriate radii. Portions of any protected areas that extended into the marine environment were clipped out. Overlapping protected areas were combined to avoid double-counting errors. The time series of cumulative protected area coverage was derived from the WDPA based on the reported year of designation. The number and total area of different categories of protected areas were calculated based on the IUCN classification assigned to each protected area. These categories indicate the intended management objectives for each protected area, but they do not necessarily predict whether that management is occurring or is effective. Protected areas for which no IUCN category was assigned were not included in these tallies. A note about Antarctica designation of “not applicable”: Antarctica is often regarded as a special case; not owned by a nation, its management falls under the jurisdiction of the twenty-seven nations that are signatories to the Antarctica Treaty System. There are provisions for designation of protected areas under this system, although only small areas have so far been established. At the same time, the general environmental regulations pertaining to the continent and, to some degree, to the surrounding waters are regarded by many as equivalent to, or perhaps stricter than, those applied to many protected areas elsewhere in the world.Data derived from:Collaborative Australian Protected Area Database (CAPAD). 2006. Available on request from the Australian Government, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts at www.deh.gov.au/parks/nrs/capad. Digital media.Conservation Biology Institute (CBI). 2006. Protected Areas Database (PAD), version 4. Conservation Biology Institute, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Available at www.consbio.org/cbi/projects/PAD. Digital media.UN Environment Programme (UNEP)/International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 2007. Protected areas extracted from the 2007 World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). The WDPA is a joint product of UNEP and the IUCN, prepared by UNEP-WCMC and the IUCN WCPA working with Governments, the Secretariats of MEAs, and collaborating NGOs. For further information, contact protectedareas@unep-wcmc.org or go to www.WDPA.org.
  • Narrative: Although much of the West’s land is protected in some manner, the imprint of humanity on the region has been deep and indelible.
  • Narrative: This map shows the results of an analysis of the human footprint in the West that accounts for a variety of stressors. White indicates areas with the least human impact, followed by green for places where the footprint is minimal, while orange and red areas are where people have done the most to transform native ecosystems. The most heavily impacted areas tend to be near cities, with places like Southern California, the Bay Area, Puget Sound, and the Colorado Front Range showing up clearly. Agriculture is the other big driver here: the Central Valley of California, the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and parts of Southeast Washington and Southern Idaho stand out in this regard. Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide. Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion and development of rural areas, influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain. In addition, western ecosystems are also affected by roads, powerlines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations. The cumulative impacts of human presence and actions on a landscape are called the “human footprint.” These impacts may affect plants and wildlife by increasing the number of synanthropic (species that benefit from human activities) bird and mammal predators and facilitating their movements through the landscape or by creating unsuitable habitats. These actions can impact plants and wildlife to such an extent that the persistence of populations or entire species is questionable. The human footprint map focuses on shrubland ecosystems and combines models of habitat use by synanthropic predators (“top-down” effects) and the risk of invasive plant presence (“bottom-up” effects) to estimate the total influence of human activities. Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide.  Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion, construction of roads, power lines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain.  We developed the map of the human footprint for the western United States from an analysis of 14 landscape structure and anthropogenic features:  human habitation, interstate highways, federal and state highways, secondary roads, railroads, irrigation canals, power lines, linear feature densities, agricultural land, campgrounds, highway rest stops, land fills, oil and gas development, and human induced fires.  We used these input layers to develop seven models to estimate the total influence of the human footprint.  These models either explored how anthropogenic features influence wildlife populations via changes in habitat (road-induced dispersal of invasive plants, oil and gas developments, human induced fires, and anthropogenic habitat fragmentation) or predators densities (spatial distribution of domestic and synanthropic avian predators).  The human footprint map is a composite of these seven models.  The final map consists of a 180 meter resolution raster data set with 10 human footprint classes.  Modeling the human footprint across large landscapes also allows researchers to generate hypotheses about ecosystem change and to conduct studies in regions differing in potential impact. Because funding for restoration and conservation projects is limited, and because there is little room for errors in the management of species of concern, land managers are able to maximize restoration and conservation efforts in areas minimally influenced by the human footprint. As such, the human footprint model is an important first step toward understanding the synergistic effects acting on shrublands in the western United States.
  • Narrative: Many of the white and deep green areas on the map are already protected as wilderness areas, usually in national forests or national parks, but sometimes on land managed by the BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service. Blue indicates the location of wilderness areas in places such as the Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Northern Cascades, and Northern Rockies.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide. Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion and development of rural areas, influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain. In addition, western ecosystems are also affected by roads, powerlines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations. The cumulative impacts of human presence and actions on a landscape are called the “human footprint.” These impacts may affect plants and wildlife by increasing the number of synanthropic (species that benefit from human activities) bird and mammal predators and facilitating their movements through the landscape or by creating unsuitable habitats. These actions can impact plants and wildlife to such an extent that the persistence of populations or entire species is questionable. The human footprint map focuses on shrubland ecosystems and combines models of habitat use by synanthropic predators (“top-down” effects) and the risk of invasive plant presence (“bottom-up” effects) to estimate the total influence of human activities. Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide.  Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion, construction of roads, power lines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain.  We developed the map of the human footprint for the western United States from an analysis of 14 landscape structure and anthropogenic features:  human habitation, interstate highways, federal and state highways, secondary roads, railroads, irrigation canals, power lines, linear feature densities, agricultural land, campgrounds, highway rest stops, land fills, oil and gas development, and human induced fires.  We used these input layers to develop seven models to estimate the total influence of the human footprint.  These models either explored how anthropogenic features influence wildlife populations via changes in habitat (road-induced dispersal of invasive plants, oil and gas developments, human induced fires, and anthropogenic habitat fragmentation) or predators densities (spatial distribution of domestic and synanthropic avian predators).  The human footprint map is a composite of these seven models.  The final map consists of a 180 meter resolution raster data set with 10 human footprint classes.  Modeling the human footprint across large landscapes also allows researchers to generate hypotheses about ecosystem change and to conduct studies in regions differing in potential impact. Because funding for restoration and conservation projects is limited, and because there is little room for errors in the management of species of concern, land managers are able to maximize restoration and conservation efforts in areas minimally influenced by the human footprint. As such, the human footprint model is an important first step toward understanding the synergistic effects acting on shrublands in the western United States.
  • Narrative: Here are where national parks and monuments are located. Major parks, such as Yellowstone, Glacier, Death Valley, Yosemite,Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and Olympic are clearly visible.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide. Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion and development of rural areas, influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain. In addition, western ecosystems are also affected by roads, powerlines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations. The cumulative impacts of human presence and actions on a landscape are called the “human footprint.” These impacts may affect plants and wildlife by increasing the number of synanthropic (species that benefit from human activities) bird and mammal predators and facilitating their movements through the landscape or by creating unsuitable habitats. These actions can impact plants and wildlife to such an extent that the persistence of populations or entire species is questionable. The human footprint map focuses on shrubland ecosystems and combines models of habitat use by synanthropic predators (“top-down” effects) and the risk of invasive plant presence (“bottom-up” effects) to estimate the total influence of human activities. Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide.  Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion, construction of roads, power lines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain.  We developed the map of the human footprint for the western United States from an analysis of 14 landscape structure and anthropogenic features:  human habitation, interstate highways, federal and state highways, secondary roads, railroads, irrigation canals, power lines, linear feature densities, agricultural land, campgrounds, highway rest stops, land fills, oil and gas development, and human induced fires.  We used these input layers to develop seven models to estimate the total influence of the human footprint.  These models either explored how anthropogenic features influence wildlife populations via changes in habitat (road-induced dispersal of invasive plants, oil and gas developments, human induced fires, and anthropogenic habitat fragmentation) or predators densities (spatial distribution of domestic and synanthropic avian predators).  The human footprint map is a composite of these seven models.  The final map consists of a 180 meter resolution raster data set with 10 human footprint classes.  Modeling the human footprint across large landscapes also allows researchers to generate hypotheses about ecosystem change and to conduct studies in regions differing in potential impact. Because funding for restoration and conservation projects is limited, and because there is little room for errors in the management of species of concern, land managers are able to maximize restoration and conservation efforts in areas minimally influenced by the human footprint. As such, the human footprint model is an important first step toward understanding the synergistic effects acting on shrublands in the western United States.
  • Narrative: And here are so-called Wilderness Study Areas, which the BLM is currently managing as wilderness but which are not protected by an act of Congress. You can see that these wilderness areas, parks, monuments, and WSAs cover many of the white areas, but not all of them. Most of the other areas that are white or deep green on these maps are public lands, but they are not receiving the special protections afforded to wilderness and parks. Even land is that is ostensibly “public,” such as the millions of acres of state school trust land in the West, may be vulnerable to development because state governments fund their educational systems through the sale and lease of such parcels. Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide. Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion and development of rural areas, influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain. In addition, western ecosystems are also affected by roads, powerlines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations. The cumulative impacts of human presence and actions on a landscape are called the “human footprint.” These impacts may affect plants and wildlife by increasing the number of synanthropic (species that benefit from human activities) bird and mammal predators and facilitating their movements through the landscape or by creating unsuitable habitats. These actions can impact plants and wildlife to such an extent that the persistence of populations or entire species is questionable. The human footprint map focuses on shrubland ecosystems and combines models of habitat use by synanthropic predators (“top-down” effects) and the risk of invasive plant presence (“bottom-up” effects) to estimate the total influence of human activities. Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide.  Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion, construction of roads, power lines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain.  We developed the map of the human footprint for the western United States from an analysis of 14 landscape structure and anthropogenic features:  human habitation, interstate highways, federal and state highways, secondary roads, railroads, irrigation canals, power lines, linear feature densities, agricultural land, campgrounds, highway rest stops, land fills, oil and gas development, and human induced fires.  We used these input layers to develop seven models to estimate the total influence of the human footprint.  These models either explored how anthropogenic features influence wildlife populations via changes in habitat (road-induced dispersal of invasive plants, oil and gas developments, human induced fires, and anthropogenic habitat fragmentation) or predators densities (spatial distribution of domestic and synanthropic avian predators).  The human footprint map is a composite of these seven models.  The final map consists of a 180 meter resolution raster data set with 10 human footprint classes.  Modeling the human footprint across large landscapes also allows researchers to generate hypotheses about ecosystem change and to conduct studies in regions differing in potential impact. Because funding for restoration and conservation projects is limited, and because there is little room for errors in the management of species of concern, land managers are able to maximize restoration and conservation efforts in areas minimally influenced by the human footprint. As such, the human footprint model is an important first step toward understanding the synergistic effects acting on shrublands in the western United States.
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors used to calculate the human footprint in the West. Planners now talk about the age of megacities in the West and you can see them on this map. The vast majority of the region’s population lives in and around a dozen or so cities: San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle on the Pacific Coast have some of the biggest cities, but inland there’s Las Vegas, the Phoenix-Tucson corridor, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and Utah’s Wasatch Front, and the string of cities along the Colorado Front Range from Fort Collins to Boulder to Denver to Colorado Springs.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: It’s actually farming that has the greatest imprint on the West in terms of acres affected. Vast areas without many people have been transformed by agriculture, usually with the aid of irrigation.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: Even areas that aren’t cities, suburbs, or farms have been impacted by the far-reaching network of highways and roads that crisscross the West. It’s worth noting that this map just shows major highways—the vast network or secondary and dirt roads also contributes to habitat fragmentation. Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: The authors of this analysis also looked at other networks, such as rail lines, which may be fenced and create obstacles for wildlife.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: Powerlines, which often require roads underneath, also provide places for avian predators to perch.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: Canals, which can also fragment habitat.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: And even things like landfills, which can attract ravens, rats, and other species that imperil native wildlife.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdf
  • Narrative: Another human impact are wildfires caused by people. As you can see, there have been thousands and thousands of these fires, some of which have grown to hundreds of thousands of acres.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: This data was produced to examine the extent and location of human induced fires throughout the western United States. The National Fire Occurrence Database (1986-1996) and additional government agency fire occurrence databases were queried for human induced fires between 1986 and 2001. Purpose: Provide locations of human induced fires from 1986 to 2001 in the western United States.
  • Narrative: This map takes all of the points shown in the previous slide and shows where the density of human-caused fires is greatest. Places with relatively few residents, such as the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Mountains, and the Mogollon Rim of Arizona have seen plenty of human-caused wildfires.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Human-induced fires have increased the frequency at which fires occur on the landscape. Fires increase the probability of invasion by exotic plant species as well as destroy existing habitats. This model was developed to depict the density of human caused fire ignition points throughout the western United States. Data from the National Fire Ignition Database from 1986 to 2001 was used to calculate the density of human-induced fire ignitions (ignitions / km).
  • Narrative: Even very remote places may bear the marks of human activity. Oil and gas drilling, plus the associated network of roads, pipelines, and other infrastructure, have made a significant impact on very unpopulated parts of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. This map, however, does not account for more recent oil and gas drilling in other parts of the West. Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Development of oil and gas wells leads to the destruction and fragmentation of natural habitat. Oil and gas wells also increase noise levels which has been shown to be detrimental to some wildlife species. Therefore, the density of oil and gas wells in the western United States was modeled based on data obtained from the National Oil and Gas Assessment. Purpose: Depict the density of oil and gas wells in the western United States. Time_Period_of_Content:
  • Narrative: One final category of human-caused stressors to discuss: invasive species. This map shows the risk of invasion by exotic plants and is based on factors such as roads, which are conducive to spreading these alien invaders.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: This model was constructed to model the risk of invasion by exotic plant species. Roads may directly influence exotic plant dispersal via disturbance during road construction or via alterations in soil regimes. For example, in Californian serpentine soil ecosystems exotic plant species can be found up to 1km from the nearest road , and Russian thistle (Salsola kali), an exotic forb growing along roads, is wind-dispersed over distances greater than 4km. Roads may also indirectly facilitate the dispersal of exotic grasses, such as crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), via human seeding along road verges or in burned areas near roads as a management strategy to curb the establishment of less desirable exotic grass species. The inputs for this model are road type , distance from road , forest - non-forest vegetation , and proximity to rural-urban and agricultural areas. Three road-based models were built based on the classification of road type and four distance risk classes. Interstates, federal and state highways received a higher risk than secondary roads because secondary roads with shallow road verges are poorer exotic plant dispersers compared to the other two road types . Because exotic plant invasion in forest areas is restricted to roads and riparian corridors , we included only the highest risk class within forested areas. Last, because urbanized and agricultural areas act as exotic plant sources, we classified the populated areas and agricultural lands as high risk. The three road models and the populated areas and agricultural land models were merged by selecting the maximum value at each pixel location from the five input grids using the MAX command in ARC/INFO.
  • Narrative: This analysis also looked at non-native animals, namely feral cats.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: This model is based on how house cats utilize wildlands near human habituation. These predators can have detrimental effects on wildlife populations (Alterio et al. 1998). We based our model on the data collected by Odell and Knight (2001) that investigated habitat utilization of these predators with regard to distance from housing and on the probability for a homeowner to possess a house cat. We buffered the populated areas distance layer in ARC/INFO using a probability function [P = 0.216 - 0.96 * Distance (km)] where any cell with distance less than 0.18km received a probability between 0.216 to 0. All distances greater than or equal to 0.18km from populated areas were assigned a probability of 0. The resulting dataset was then resampled to 180m using the bilinear interpolation option. Purpose: Model the distribution of house cats throughout the western United States.
  • Narrative: And feral dogs, both of which tend to be found near where people live. Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: This model is based on how dogs utilize wildlands near human habituation. These predators can have detrimental effects on wildlife populations (Alterio et al. 1998). We based our model on the data collected by Odell and Knight (2001) that investigated habitat utilization of these predators with regard to distance from housing and on the probability for a homeowner to possess a dog. We buffered the both the populated areas and the campground distance layers in ARC/INFO using probability functions [P = 0.548 - 1.4589 * Distance (km)]. Any cell with distance less than 0.36km received a probability based on the function (0.556 to 0.001572) and all distances greater than or equal to 0.36km from populated areas or campgrounds were assigned a probability of 0. We combined the two models into the dog model by selecting the maximum value at each pixel location from the 2 models using the MAX command in ARC/INFO. The resulting dataset was then resampled to 180m using the bilinear interpolation option.
  • Narrative: Add it all up, and you’ve got this portrait of the human footprint in the American West. As with so many other dimensions—elevation, rainfall, temperature—the West is a study in contrasts and diversity.Source: Matthias Leu, Steven E. Hanser, and Steven T. Knick. The Human Footprint In The West: A Large-scale Analysis Of Anthropogenic Impacts. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 2008, pp. 1119–1139URL: http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/HumanFootprint.aspx http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/1696_Leu.pdf http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/fs/fs-127-03.pdfNotes: Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide. Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion and development of rural areas, influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain. In addition, western ecosystems are also affected by roads, powerlines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations. The cumulative impacts of human presence and actions on a landscape are called the “human footprint.” These impacts may affect plants and wildlife by increasing the number of synanthropic (species that benefit from human activities) bird and mammal predators and facilitating their movements through the landscape or by creating unsuitable habitats. These actions can impact plants and wildlife to such an extent that the persistence of populations or entire species is questionable. The human footprint map focuses on shrubland ecosystems and combines models of habitat use by synanthropic predators (“top-down” effects) and the risk of invasive plant presence (“bottom-up” effects) to estimate the total influence of human activities. Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide.  Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion, construction of roads, power lines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain.  We developed the map of the human footprint for the western United States from an analysis of 14 landscape structure and anthropogenic features:  human habitation, interstate highways, federal and state highways, secondary roads, railroads, irrigation canals, power lines, linear feature densities, agricultural land, campgrounds, highway rest stops, land fills, oil and gas development, and human induced fires.  We used these input layers to develop seven models to estimate the total influence of the human footprint.  These models either explored how anthropogenic features influence wildlife populations via changes in habitat (road-induced dispersal of invasive plants, oil and gas developments, human induced fires, and anthropogenic habitat fragmentation) or predators densities (spatial distribution of domestic and synanthropic avian predators).  The human footprint map is a composite of these seven models.  The final map consists of a 180 meter resolution raster data set with 10 human footprint classes.  Modeling the human footprint across large landscapes also allows researchers to generate hypotheses about ecosystem change and to conduct studies in regions differing in potential impact. Because funding for restoration and conservation projects is limited, and because there is little room for errors in the management of species of concern, land managers are able to maximize restoration and conservation efforts in areas minimally influenced by the human footprint. As such, the human footprint model is an important first step toward understanding the synergistic effects acting on shrublands in the western United States.
  • Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors behind this expanding human imprint. We begin with perhaps the most important one: population growth.
  • Narrative: Since the middle of the 19th century, Western states have accounted for an increasing share of the U.S. population. By 2030, the region is expected to be home to a quarter of all Americans, up from about 0 percent in 1830 and 9 percent in 1930.Source: US Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/stproj.htmlNotes: Released in 2005, based on 2000 data. No update planned for 2010 census
  • Narrative: California has obviously been the biggest driver of population growth in the West and it totally dwarfs the other states. That’s expected to continue in the decades to come.Source: US Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/stproj.htmlNotes: Released in 2005, based on 2000 data. No update planned for 2010 census
  • Narrative: If you take California out of the picture it’s easier to see the other Western states. Some, such as Wyoming and Montana, aren’t growing all that fast. But others, such as Arizona and Nevada, are booming and expected to keep growing for the foreseeable future. Source: US Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/stproj.htmlNotes: Released in 2005, based on 2000 data. No update planned for 2010 census
  • Narrative: This graphic illustrates America’s westward migration by showing the mean center of population from 1790 to 2010. The center is the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless,and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all residents were of identical weight. Since the first census in 1790, the nation’s population has moved westward and, in more recent decades, toward the South, reflecting the booming population growth in the Sunbelt.Source: US Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/geo/www/2010census/centerpop2010/centerpop2010.htmlNotes: “Historically, the center of population has followed a trail that reflects the sweep of the nation's brush stroke across America's population canvas. The sweep reflects the settling of the frontier, waves of immigration and the migration west and south. Since 1790, the location has moved in a westerly, then a more southerly pattern. In 2000, the new center of population was more than 1,000 miles from the first center in 1790, which was near Chestertown, Md.”
  • Narrative: Focusing on recent growth, you can see in this map that the West is home to some of the fastest growing counties in the country. This slide shows the change in the number of people living in each county from the 2000 to 2010 census. Growth was especially strong in places like Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Southern California, the Colorado Front Range, Albuquerque-Santa Fe, Portland, Seattle, and Salt Lake City.Source: U.S. Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: This map shows the percentage change by county. While the West has some counties that increased in population by more than 50 percent—places like Pinal County Arizona, between Phoenix and Tucson, and Washington County, Utah, home to St. George—there are some parts of the West that are losing residents, such as the eastern portions of Oregon, Montana and Colorado.Source: U.S. Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: This map illustrates that the West’ population is very concentrated and urbanized. The diamonds are sized according to a county’s population and you can see how the cities of Southern California—Los Angeles, San Diego, the Inland Empire—really dominate. Add the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Boise, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, El Paso, and Denver and you’ve accounted for the vast majority of people living west of the 100th meridian.Source: U.S. Census BureauURL: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Now let’s talk about land trusts, an important part of conservation in the West and other regions. These nonprofit organizations work with private landowners to protect important habitat and open space, often by creating conservation easements that perpetually prevent harmful development on the property. In the slides that follow, we discuss findings of a census conducted every five years by the Land Trust Alliance.
  • Narrative: First, let’s take a look at conservation easements: the bread and butter of land trusts. Easements permanently protect private land, but sometimes allow limited housing, water use, and other development. This map shows the location of easements around the country, but because the parcels tend to be small and scattered, it’s hard to see them on a national map.Source: National Conservation Easement Database (Conservation Biology Institute, The Trust for Public Land, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife and NatureServe)URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=cfc20244ec6b4f739cce35d55da240ceNotes: The National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) is a collaborative venture to compile easement records (both spatial and tabular) from land trusts and public agencies throughout the United States in a single, up-to-date, sustainable, GIS compatible, online source. The goal of the NCED is to provide a comprehensive picture of the privately owned conservation easement lands, recognizing their contribution to America's natural heritage, a vibrant economy, and healthy communities. Conservation easements are legal agreements voluntarily entered into between landowners and conservation entities (agencies or land trusts) for the express purpose of protecting certain societal values such as open space or vital wildlife habitats. In some cases landowners transfer "development rights" for direct payment or for federal and state tax benefits.
  • Narrative: If we zoom into a place like Colorado, the easements are easier to make out. Source: National Conservation Easement Database (Conservation Biology Institute, The Trust for Public Land, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife and NatureServe)URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=cfc20244ec6b4f739cce35d55da240ceNotes: The National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) is a collaborative venture to compile easement records (both spatial and tabular) from land trusts and public agencies throughout the United States in a single, up-to-date, sustainable, GIS compatible, online source. The goal of the NCED is to provide a comprehensive picture of the privately owned conservation easement lands, recognizing their contribution to America's natural heritage, a vibrant economy, and healthy communities. Conservation easements are legal agreements voluntarily entered into between landowners and conservation entities (agencies or land trusts) for the express purpose of protecting certain societal values such as open space or vital wildlife habitats. In some cases landowners transfer "development rights" for direct payment or for federal and state tax benefits.
  • Narrative: And here’s Montana.Source: National Conservation Easement Database (Conservation Biology Institute, The Trust for Public Land, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife and NatureServe)URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=cfc20244ec6b4f739cce35d55da240ceNotes: The National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) is a collaborative venture to compile easement records (both spatial and tabular) from land trusts and public agencies throughout the United States in a single, up-to-date, sustainable, GIS compatible, online source. The goal of the NCED is to provide a comprehensive picture of the privately owned conservation easement lands, recognizing their contribution to America's natural heritage, a vibrant economy, and healthy communities. Conservation easements are legal agreements voluntarily entered into between landowners and conservation entities (agencies or land trusts) for the express purpose of protecting certain societal values such as open space or vital wildlife habitats. In some cases landowners transfer "development rights" for direct payment or for federal and state tax benefits.
  • Narrative: By the end of 2010, land trusts had conserved some 47 million acres, an area more than double the size of all the national parks in the contiguous United States. The acreage has increased by 10 million acres since 2005 and it has increased by more than 100 percent since 2000, when 23 million acres were protected.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Narrative: Land trusts usea variety of methods to protect land, including buying property outright, managing conservation easements, or helping other organizations acquire properties or enact deed restrictions. This graphic shows that easements, which generally cost much less than purchases, have been making up an increasing share of the activity of state and local land trusts.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: Acres conserved by other means refers to land protected as a result of the activities of the land trust, but which the land trust did not directly acquire in fee or under easement. Common examples include negotiating or preparing for acquisition by other organizations or agencies, or deed restrictions.
  • Narrative: Land trusts are found in virtually every state, but the highest concentrations are in California, the Northeast, and Upper Midwest. In the West, Colorado and Washington each have more than three dozen land trusts, but many inland states, such as Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico, have fewer than 10.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Narrative: This map shows the change in the number of land trusts from 2000 to 2010. You can see that California was far and away the leader, with 65 new land trusts created. Arizona gained 12 in the first decade of the 21st century, while Oregon and Washington each added 8.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Narrative: Now let’s turn from the number of land trusts to the acres they protect. Once again, California leads the nation, with more than 2.3 million acres protected. Out West, Colorado and Montana have protected more than 1 million acres; back East, Maine, New York, and Virginia have the most acreage protected by land trusts.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Narrative: The figures in the preceding slide show raw acreage totals, but this map displays what percent of each state is protected by land trusts. Using this measure, many smaller Northeast states stand out. In Vermont, 10 percent of the state is protected by land trusts; in Maine, it’s 8 percent. Out West, where many states are dominated by federal land, the figures are much lower, with California and Colorado leading the way at about 2 percent.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Narrative: How has the acreage protected changed over the past decade? The greatest increase was in Maine, where nearly 1.7 million acres were added. Out West, California, Colorado, and Montana saw the biggest rise.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Narrative: Land trusts come in all shapes and sizes, but there is a growing movement in the field to accredit the organizations so they are following best practices for finance and governance. Since 2008, more than 135 land trusts have been accredited. About two-thirds of land trusts that are eligible but haven’t yet applied for accreditation say they are planning to do so.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: “The Land Trust Alliance recognizes the achievements of the 135 land trusts that have earned accreditation as of September 2011. 133 of the 135 accredited land trusts responded to the 2010 Census. A look at their responses as a group demonstrates that accreditation is achievable by groups from a wide variety of backgrounds.”
  • Narrative: This graphic shows that accredited land trusts only account for about one-eighth of the acres protected, but a current applicant for accreditation—The Nature Conservancy—makes up about one-third of the total acres.Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: “As a group, accredited land trusts have protected more than 5 million acres of land. This represents 32% of the total acres protected by state and local land trusts, and 12% of the total acres protected by all land trusts (state, local and national). At the same time, we also recognize the hard work and dedication of the many land trusts on the accreditation path. According to the 2010 Census, 65% of eligible land trusts who have not yet applied for accreditation say that they are preparing to do so.”
  • Narrative: Many of the accredited land trusts are found in the West, with California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada leading the way in the region. Source: Land Trust AllianceURL: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/land-trusts/land-trust-censusNotes: The Land Trust Alliance collected data from January to September 2011 for the 2010 Census, beginning with a survey sent to about 1,760 land conservation organizations in the United States by email and postal mail. All respondents were asked to report on their land conservation and organizational activities as of December 31, 2010. More than 950 land trusts responded directly, a 55% response rate, in line with previous Census years. To ensure consistency with past Census data, we collected additional information by email, telephone and from state land trust associations. For land trusts for which no new information was available, we carried forward data from the 2005 and 2000 Census years.
  • Now let’s take a look at one of the dominant land uses in the West: livestock ranching. The federal government owns 42 percent of the land in the West, and about 85 percent of federal land is grazed.
  • Narrative: This map illustrates where livestock grazing is concentrated in the U.S. The colors show the percent of each county that is cattle pasture or rangeland, with red indicating the highest percentage. Each dot represents 10,000 cattle. Although livestock production occurs in every state, it’s definitely most common in the nation’s midsection. Out West, the eastern portions of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico have lots of rangeland, but the black dots indicate that there are plenty of cows found elsewhere, including very hot and dry locations like Arizona and Southern California. Source: U.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/agriculture.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: As you might expect, places like Vermont, home to Ben and Jerry’s, and Wisconsin, home of the “cheeseheads,” there are lots of dairy cattle. Out West, some of the greatest concentrations are found in the Central Valley of California, Southern Idaho, and Central Arizona..Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: Beef cows are more widely distributed throughout the country and the West, but the greatest concentration is found in the nation’s midsection. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: The BLM and Forest Service oversee about 30,000 grazing permits. Who are these ranchers? This graphic shows that they’re hardly monolithic. In this study, researchers classified federal grazing permittees into eight categories. About half are considered professional ranchers and half are part-time ranchers. The professional ranchers range from corporate operations to solo operators who are dependent on ranching for their income, while part-time ranchers range from relatively affluent “trophy ranchers” who engage in the activity as a tax shelter or for the lifestyle, to retired part-time ranchers who may be struggling economically.Source: Gentner, Bradley J., and John A. Tanaka. “Classifying Federal Public Land Grazing Permittees.”Journal of Range Management 55 (2002): 2–11URL: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4003256?uid=3739568&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=56302929523 http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/27964/1/04020014.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at these various types of ranchers. The first section of this table is based on responses to a survey that asked ranchers why they do what they do. In general, ranchers say the most important factors are the tradition, values, culture, and the opportunity to raise their family in a good location. Profit ranks lower and with good reason: it’s tough to make a lot of money as a public lands rancher. The second section shows the various sources of income for each type of rancher. For trophy ranchers, livestock only account for about 20 percent of their income, while investments make up 41 percent, but for dependent family ranchers, livestock account for 85 percent of their income and investments only amount to about 1 percent. The last line shows that net income is about $94,000 for trophy ranchers, but just $47,000 for the dependent family ranchers.Source: Gentner, Bradley J., and John A. Tanaka. “Classifying Federal Public Land Grazing Permittees.”Journal of Range Management 55 (2002): 2–11URL: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4003256?uid=3739568&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=56302929523 http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/27964/1/04020014.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: These various types of ranchers also run very different kinds of operations. Trophy and corporate ranchers have the most deeded land and cows, but they differ in experience, with the former in the business for 13 years on average and the latter working in ranching for an average of 33 years. One dimension that’s similar across the groups is age: the youngest average is 51 years old and some groups have an average age in the 60s. Because ranchers tend to be older, there are questions about what will happen to the industry—and the land it occupies—as these grazing permittees retire or die, often without the ability to pass on their ranch to younger generations. In some places, ranchers leaving the business are opting to subdivide and sell their deeded acres in response to development pressures.Source: Gentner, Bradley J., and John A. Tanaka. “Classifying Federal Public Land Grazing Permittees.”Journal of Range Management 55 (2002): 2–11URL: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4003256?uid=3739568&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=56302929523 http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/27964/1/04020014.pdfNotes:
  • Next, let’s talk about the broader agricultural sector and its place in the West.
  • Narrative: This map, from the 2007 Census of Agriculture, shows the number of acres in farms in 2007. Farms are found throughout the country, but are most heavily concentrated in the Midwest.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: Here’s how the acreage changed from the previous census, in 2002. In many parts of the West, such as Wyoming, Utah and California, there were considerable decreases. Nationally, there was a net decrease of about 16 million acres.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: West of the 100th Meridian is where you’ll find the most irrigation in the United States, although there is still some irrigation along the Mississippi River and even relatively wet places like Florida. Out West, large-scale irrigation is common in places like Eastern Washington, the Central Valley, and along the Snake River in Idaho. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: Here’s how the number of irrigated acres changed from 2002 to 2007. You can see that in just five years there were major increases and decreases throughout the nation due to changing weather and commodity markets. California saw a major decrease, while places like Colorado and Nebraska saw big increases.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: Here’s another way of looking at the agriculturaldata. This map shows what percent of the land area in each county is farmland. In the nation’s midsection, many counties in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have more than 90 percent of their land devoted to farms. Out West, the percentages are generally much lower, but there are some counties in places like Eastern Washington and the Central Valley that are dominated by agriculture.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: If you look at the value of the crops sold, you can see that many parts of the West show up even more distinctly. This is because higher value crops, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than soy beans and corn, are grown in some parts of the West.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: This map shows that grains, oil seeds, and similar commodities dominate in the Midwest and the Missouri River watershed. In the West, there’s also plenty of wheat farming in places like Montana and Washington state.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and the like play a much bigger role in the agricultural economy of the West. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: As do fruits, nuts, and berries. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: Here’s another summary view: where vegetables are harvested.Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: And the land that’s devoted to orchardsSource: USDA National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/index.asp http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Ag_Atlas_Maps/Notes:
  • Narrative: A row of crops is hardly a native ecosystem, but farms do sometimes qualify as open space and sometimes they provide wildlife with valuable habitat. This graphic shows how much agricultural land was developed from 1982 to 2007. Some Western states, such as California, Arizona, and Colorado show up near the top of the list for number of acres converted, but that’s partly due to their large size. Western states are much lower down on the list when you look at the percent of each state’s agricultural land that was converted from 1982 to 2007. In many Western states, agricultural land is naturally limited by the preponderance of federal land and the lack of water.Source: Compiled by the Farmland Information Center using estimates fromUSDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2007 National Resources Inventory URL: http://www.farmlandinfo.org/documents/38415/FIC_NRI_2007_Data_Tables.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: A broader category—rural land—shows a similar pattern. On an acreage basis, California, Arizona, Washington, and Colorado, are in the top half for the 50 states, but states like Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia, actually lost more farmland. And because so much rural land in Western states is federally owned and thereby protected from housing and commercial development, Western states have lost a lower percentage of their rural land, especially compared to some smaller states in the Northeast like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.Source: Compiled by the Farmland Information Center using estimates fromUSDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2007 National Resources Inventory URL: http://www.farmlandinfo.org/documents/38415/FIC_NRI_2007_Data_Tables.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: This map shows what parts of the country are considered high quality farmland, and whether they are at risk from development. Red shows high quality farmland with high development potential and green shows high quality farmland with low development potential. Source: American Farmland TrustURL: http://www.farmland.org/resources/fote/states/default.asp
  • Now let’s talk about another industry that has figured prominently in the West’s history for centuries. It was the prospect of finding gold, silver, and other minerals that drew early explorers like Coronado to the region in the 16th century and it was the discovery of gold in California that helped spark a huge Westward migration.
  • Narrative: This map shows the location of active mines and processing plants. You can see that they’re pretty well scattered throughout the country.Source: National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological SurveyURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=853ea17d49f942d4af7b7e0fa2480598 http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/ http://tin.er.usgs.gov/mineplant/Notes: This data set includes mineral and metal operations in the United States. The data represent commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS, and the operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the MIT.
  • Narrative: Most of these sites mine or process sand, gravel, or crushed stone. They’re shown in red on this map. As you might imagine, things like sand, gravel, and stone are relatively common, and they’re needed in lots of basic applications, such as construction and landscaping, so the activity is distributed throughout the country. This is also an expensive product to transport: you wouldn’t want to have to import boulders from across the country.Source: National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological SurveyURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=853ea17d49f942d4af7b7e0fa2480598 http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/ http://tin.er.usgs.gov/mineplant/Notes: This data set includes mineral and metal operations in the United States. The data represent commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS, and the operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the MIT.
  • Narrative: Specific minerals, like copper, are found in just a few locations, shown here as orange dots. Now you know why Arizona is known as the “Copper State.” Aside from a couple of copper mines in Missouri and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, all are located in the intermountain West.Source: National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological SurveyURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=853ea17d49f942d4af7b7e0fa2480598 http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/ http://tin.er.usgs.gov/mineplant/Notes: This data set includes mineral and metal operations in the United States. The data represent commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS, and the operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the MIT.
  • Narrative: This map shows where silver mines are located, and why Nevada is known as the “Silver State.” As with copper, most of the nation’s silver mines are located in the West. Source: National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological SurveyURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=853ea17d49f942d4af7b7e0fa2480598 http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/ http://tin.er.usgs.gov/mineplant/Notes: This data set includes mineral and metal operations in the United States. The data represent commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS, and the operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the MIT.
  • Narrative: Same goes for gold, which is often found in association with silver. Source: National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological SurveyURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=853ea17d49f942d4af7b7e0fa2480598 http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/ http://tin.er.usgs.gov/mineplant/Notes: This data set includes mineral and metal operations in the United States. The data represent commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS, and the operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the MIT.
  • Narrative: Mining activity is highly dependent on commodity prices. This slide shows how prices for three key minerals in the American West have changed over the past decade.Source: Index MundiURL: http://www.indexmundi.com
  • Now let’s take a look at another industry as old as West itself: forestry. The region’s high-country forests have been subject to logging for more than a century, but the industry has been changing.
  • Narrative: This map shows what percent of each ecoregion is covered with forest habitat. You can see that the Great Plains and Southwestern deserts have very little land that’s forested, but even some hot, arid ecoregions, such as the Great Basin in Nevada and the mountains of Central Utah and Central Arizona have their share of forests at higher elevations. The most heavily forested part of the region is in Pacific Northwest, but the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains also have considerable forest resources.Source: Hoekstra et al. The Atlas Of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2010URL: http://www.nature.org/ourscience/sciencefeatures/conservation-atlas.xmlNotes: We derived the forest map from forest and woodland classes of the Global Land Cover 2000 data set (JRC 2003) with areas of human habitation and infrastructure from the Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project database (CIESIN et al. 2004) removed. We applied a zonal sum procedure to those data to show the amount of forest by ecoregion.Data derived from:Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the World Bank, and Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT). 2004. Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP): Urban Extents, Columbia University Palisades, New York, USA. Available at http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/. Digital media.Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). 2003. GLC 2000: Global Land Cover Mapping for the Year 2000. Ispra, Italy: European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability. Available at www-tem.jrc.it/glc2000. Digital media.
  • Narrative: Debates about forest management in the West used to focus on commercial logging, but the industry is a shadow of its former self. This graphic shows how much timber was sold and harvested on national forests, starting at the inception of the Forest Service in 1905 (the lines sometimes diverge because timber may be sold in one year but harvested in another year). There was a big run-up in the post-war era, but then a dramatic decline starting in the late 1980s as restrictions related to the spotted owl and other environmental laws took effect and foreign competition hurt the industry. As a result, many timber mills were closed around the West so it can now be a struggle to find facilities to handle trees cut as part of fuels reduction projects, especially because most of the trees being removed are small-diameter and not what the mills were built to handle. Source:US Forest ServiceURL:http://www.fs.fed.us/forestmanagement/reports/sold-harvest/documents/1905-2008_Natl_Sold_Harvest_Summary.pdf
  • Narrative: This map shows the value of timber cut in national forests in 2010. You can see that national forests back East are some of the biggest producers. In the West, the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies are the most active, followed by the Sierra Nevada. There’s very little logging on national forests elsewhere in the region. Source: Headwaters EconomicsURL: http://headwaterseconomics.org/interactive/national-forests-timber-cut-soldNotes:
  • Narrative: Here’s the same data by stateSource: Headwaters EconomicsURL: http://headwaterseconomics.org/interactive/national-forests-timber-cut-soldNotes:
  • Narrative: And by U.S. Forest Service region. In the West, national forests in Oregon and Washington remain the most productive for timber.Source: Headwaters EconomicsURL: http://headwaterseconomics.org/interactive/national-forests-timber-cut-soldNotes:
  • Finally, let’s talk about energy, a major industry in the West. This is an issue that could warrant a presentation unto itself, but here we focus on some overarching trends and how the West is impacted by a variety of energy sources, ranging from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to renewables like solar and wind.
  • Narrative: Both of these pie charts show U.S. energy consumption in 2011. On the left, the energy is divided by its source. You can see that about 83 percent of the total comes from fossil fuels: petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Nuclear accounts for 9 percent, while biomass and other renewable fuels account for 8 percent. On the right, energy consumption is broken down by economic sector: transportation and industry account for about 30 percent each, residential use amounts to about a quarter, and commercial use is about one fifth. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: How have these energy sources changed over time? This time series shows that fossil fuels have always dominated the energy sector and that renewables still haven’t made much of a dent. Biomass accounts for about half of all renewable sources. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Here’s how the sector-by-sector breakdown has changed over time. Industrial energy use has been more variable than in the other sectors and has recently leveled off, but consumption in the other three sectors has continued to rise along with the nation’s population.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Energy use varies widely from state to state. The top graphic shows total consumption and this is largely a function of state population. The bottom graphic shows per capita consumption, with Western states in orange. On a per person basis, some sparsely populated Western states are near the top, while the region’s biggest state, California, is near the bottom.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Here’s that same data in a map. The states that use the most energy per person, such as Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Louisiana, are also major energy producers and have small populations.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Energy prices also vary dramatically across the country. This map shows that states in the Northeast tend to have the highest prices, along with the DC area, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: This graphic shows that there’s an inverse relationship between energy prices and energy consumption across the 50 U.S. states.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Now let’s shift to a slightly different way of looking at the energy sector: how much energy the U.S. produces. Once again, fossil fuels continue to dominate and renewables have only increased slightly.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Currently, oil, coal, and natural gas account for about 78 percent of the energy we produce and nuclear is a little over 10 percent. Renewables account for about one-eighth of the nation’s power portfolio and about half that is from biomass. Hydropower accounts for 4 percent and wind makes up 1.5 percent. Solar and geothermal combined account for about one half of one percent.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Nuclear power had been increasing in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Three Mile Island disaster led to more than three decades without any new plants being built.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Coal continues to dominate the nation’s power portfolio, but natural gas is making steady gains as the price of that fuel decreases and environmental regulations make it harder to burn coal. In this graphic, we see that renewable energy actually accounted for a greater share of the portfolio in the 1940s and 1950s, but that wasn’t due to primitive solar panels or wind turbines. In that era, lots of people were still burning wood, a renewable resource, to make energy. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: For much of the 20th century, coal was the preferred fuel for new generating capacity. We also added hydropower by building major dams, many of them in the West. But more recently, natural gas has been the favored fuel. It has been decades since a new nuclear plant has been built, but wind has been making some gains in the past few years. Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=2070Notes:
  • Narrative: This graphic looks into the future. Over the next 25 years, natural gas is expected to be the main fuel for new generating capacity, but renewables are also projected to make some inroads.Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo
  • Narrative: The cost of the various energy options plays a major role in the decisions that utilities and state regulators make about building new power plants. This graphic shows the overall costs for 16 different technologies. The cheapest two options at the bottom use natural gas, but renewable resources such as wind and geothermal aren’t too far behind. Solar energy technologies are currently the most expensive. Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfmNotes:
  • Narrative: But while natural gas plants may be the favored choice for new generation, that doesn’t mean coal fired power plants won’t still be around. Although many coal plants have been shut down and others are expected to be retired or shuttered in the years to come, plenty will still be operating decades from now and coal is still expected to be the dominant source for electricity production in 2035. Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo
  • Narrative: A major reason why natural gas is becoming the favored choice for new generating capacity is that vast quantities are being unlocked with new technologies. This diagram shows the various types of gas and associated fuels. Techniques such as fracking, in which water, sand, and chemicals are injected underground to release gas, and horizontal drilling, which allows drilling for deposits without being directly above them, are dramatically increasing natural gas production.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Geological SurveyURL: http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/images/charts/NatGasSchematic-large.jpg http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/images/charts/NatGasSchematic-large.jpg
  • Narrative: Until a few years ago, shale gas was a minor player, but by 2035, it’s expected to account for about half of the nation’s natural gas production as conventional gas deposits decline in significance.Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/source_natural_gas.cfm
  • Narrative: Conventional gas deposits are found throughout the country, and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, but in the West these deposits tend to be concentrated in a few locations, including the Colorado Plateau, Wyoming, Montana, and Northeast Colorado. Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/maps/maps.htm
  • Narrative: Shale gas is found in some of the same locations as conventional deposits. In the West, that includes the Four Corners states, Wyoming, Montana, and southern California.Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/maps/maps.htm
  • Narrative: Nearly all parts of the country are expected to see more drilling for natural gas, but the biggest increases are projected to occur in the Northeast as shale gas deposits there are developed. Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/source_natural_gas_all.cfm#natgas
  • Narrative: Natural gas development in the West takes place on private, tribal, state, and federal lands. Over time, federal lands have become increasingly important to the nation’s energy supply. This graphic shows that federal lands now account for about a third of the total for natural gas and all fossil fuels.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: The rate of energy development on public lands was a point of contention in the 2012 presidential election. This graphic shows that the sales of fossil fuels produced on federal and Indian lands has remained relatively constant over the last decade, although natural gas sales have declined slightly. Environmental regulations play a role in determining energy activity on public lands, but so do economic variables, such as commodity prices.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec1_31.pdf
  • Narrative: This graphic focuses on natural gas. The decline was actually due to less offshore activity, in large part due to the fallout from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, while onshore natural gas production on federal and Indian lands has actually seen a slight upward trend.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec1_31.pdf
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at renewables. This graphic shows that Americans are consuming more and more power generated from renewable sources, but the bulk is from hydropower and wood. Wind and biofuels are increasing, but solar remains a very minor player.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy ReviewURL: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#summary
  • Narrative: Looking ahead, energy analysts believe that wind will be the biggest gainer among renewables, but solar is expected to make some strides.Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationURL: www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/sector_electric_power_all.cfm#powergen
  • Narrative: This graphic shows that wind power capacity has been increasingly rapidly in recent years, up more than eleven-fold between 2001 and 2011. Source: American Wind Energy Association URL: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/reports/upload/3Q2012-Market-Report_Public-Version.pdf Notes:
  • Narrative: The best wind power potential is off the nation’s coastline and in the middle of the country. In the 11 Western states, onshore wind power potential is greatest east of the Continental Divide, in places like Southeastern Wyoming and the eastern portions of Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico.Source: National Renewable Energy LaboratoryURL: http://www.nrel.gov/gis/data_wind.html
  • Narrative: This map shows that wind power is found in many locations throughout the West, especially California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. Source: American Wind Energy Association URL: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/reports/upload/3Q2012-Market-Report_Public-Version.pdf Notes:
  • Narrative: One of the major issues confronting wind power developers in places like Wyoming and Montana is the presence of the greater sage grouse, an imperiled bird that is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. This map shows the bird’s current and historic range. Source: USGS Sagemap, Michael A. Schroeder, Washington Department of Fish and WildlifeURL: http://rockymountainwild.org/_site/wp-content/uploads/10-032_Sage_Grouse_Range.jpg
  • Narrative: Solar energy is also becoming more widespread. This graphic shows that some of the biggest additions in the past few years has been in utility-scale projects, but residential installations are also on the rise. Source: American Wind Energy Association URL: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/reports/upload/3Q2012-Market-Report_Public-Version.pdf Notes:
  • Narrative: Solar energy potential is greatest in the Southwest, but many other parts of the West also have decent solar resources available. This map shows the potential for solar photovoltaic panels.Source: National Renewable Energy LaboratoryURL: http://www.nrel.gov/gis/solar.html/Notes:
  • Narrative: A major issue in the deployment of solar energy in the Southwest is the presence of another imperiled animal: the Mojave subspecies of desert tortoise, which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This map shows the location of desert tortoise critical habitat in purple.Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bureau of Land ManagementURL: http://www.nrel.gov/gis/solar.html/http://solareis.anl.gov/Notes:
  • Narrative: The desert tortoise was one of the main issues that federal officials, environmentalists, and energy developers confronted when trying to decide where to build major solar facilities in the Southwest. This map shows the location of the federal solar energy zones that emerged from a multi-year planning process overseen by the BLM.Source: Bureau of Land ManagementURL: http://solareis.anl.gov/ http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/MINERALS__REALTY__AND_RESOURCE_PROTECTION_/energy/renewable_references.Par.89405.File.tmp/Six-State_Alternatives_Suppl_Final10-24-2011.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Although wind and solar power have a number of environmental advantages, they do tend to take up more space than coal and natural gas power plants. This analysis examined the issue of “energy sprawl” and concluded that biofuels have by far the biggest footprint of energy sources because it takes so much land to grow the necessary crops. It’s also worth remembering that best way to shrink the energy sector’s footprint is to reduce energy demand through efficiency measures. Source: McDonald RI, Fargione J, Kiesecker J, Miller WM, et al. (2009) Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency: Climate Policy Impacts on Natural Habitat for the United States of America. PLoS ONE 4(8): e6802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006802URL: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0006802Notes:Figure 3. Land-use intensity for energy production/conservation techniques. Value shown is for 2030, as measured in km2 of impactedarea in 2030 per terawatt-hour produced/conserved in that year. Error bars show the most-compact and least-compact estimates of plausible currentand future levels of land-use intensity. Numbers provided are the midpoint between the high and low estimates for different techniques. For liquidfuels, energy loss from internal combustion engines is not included in this calculation.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006802.g003
  • Narrative: The analysis of energy sprawl also looked at which types of habitat would be impacted by various types of energy development. This table shows that biofuels affect the greatest acreage and most of that is in temperate deciduous forests in the nation’s midsection. Source: McDonald RI, Fargione J, Kiesecker J, Miller WM, et al. (2009) Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency: Climate Policy Impacts on Natural Habitat for the United States of America. PLoS ONE 4(8): e6802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006802URL: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0006802Notes: Data are from the Reference Scenario for four major types of energy development: coal production, biomass burning for electricity, biofuel production, and wind power.Energy development is partitioned among habitat types, as depicted in Figure 2.
  • Narrative: Corn-based ethanol is a major component of the biofuels piece and this map shows that the fuel is primarily grown and processed in the upper Midwest.Source: National Agricultural Statistics ServiceURL: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Ethanol_Plants/U._S._Ethanol_Plants/EthanolPlantsandCornProd-US.pdfNotes:

The human footprint in the American West The human footprint in the American West Presentation Transcript

  • The human footprintin the American West 1/20/13
  • EcoWest missionInform and advance conservation in the AmericanWest by analyzing, visualizing, and sharing dataon environmental trends. 1/21/2013 2
  • EcoWest decks This is one of six presentations that illustrate key environmental metrics. Libraries for each topic contain additional slides. Issue Sample metrics Water Per capita water consumption, price of water, trends in transfers Biodiversity Number of endangered species, government funding for species protection Wildfires Size and number of wildfires, suppression costs Land Acreage protected by land trusts, energy development on public lands Climate Temperature and precipitation projections Politics Conservation funding, public opinion Download presentations and libraries at ecowest.org 1/21/2013 3
  • Table of contents 1. Lay of the land 2. Human footprint 3. Growth and housing 4. Land trusts 5. Ranching 6. Agriculture 7. Mining 8. Forestry 9. Energy 1/21/2013 4
  • Key points • Lay of the land – The West is dominated by federal land, with national forests common in mountainous terrain and BLM land prevalent in lower-elevation areas, but some of the most biologically diverse areas are privately owned. • Human footprint – Although much of the West is publicly owned, the human footprint is evident almost everywhere in the region. Relatively pristine areas are often protected as wilderness or national parks, but many undeveloped areas remain vulnerable. • Growth and housing – The West accounts for a rising share of the nation’s population, with most growth occurring in and around big cities in an increasingly urbanized region. • Land trusts – The number of land trusts and the acres they protect continues to increase, as does accreditation of these nonprofits, but the level of activity varies widely from state to state. • Extractive industries – Some traditional economic sectors, such as logging on public lands, are in decline, but the West is still home to important mines, farms, rangeland, and other working landscapes. • Energy – The West is playing an increasingly important role in the nation’s fossil and renewable energy supply, but development of natural gas, solar, wind, and other sources often comes into conflict with protections for wildlife and other natural resources. 1/21/2013 5
  • THE LAY OF THE LAND 1/21/2013 6
  • Federal lands in the West, Alaska, and U.S.80%70% National Wildlife Refuges60% National Parks50% Forest Service Bureau of Land Management40%30%20%10% 0% 11 Western States Alaska Other 38 States Total U.S. Source: Bureau of Land Management 1/21/2013 7
  • Land use on public, tribal, and private land 2,500 Special uses, urban uses, and misc. land 2,000 Forest land Grassland pasture and range 1,500 CroplandMillionsof acres 1,000 500 0 Federal State and other American Indian Private Total public Source: USDA Economic Research Service 1/21/2013 8
  • Portion of each state that is federal land 30% 30% 1% 3% 53% VT = 8% 50% 6% NH = 13% 1% MA = 2% 42% 6% 6% RI = 0.4% 10% CT = 0.4% 85% 1% 3% NJ = 3% 1% DE = 2% 45% 57% 2% MD = 3% 37% 2% 1% 7% DC = 25% 10% 1% 5% 5% 3% 12% 48% 42% 4% 7% 3% 2% 4% 7% 2% 5% 8% 69% 19% Source: U.S. General Services Administration 1/21/2013 9
  • States with the most federal land Nevada 84.5% Alaska 69.1% Utah 57.5% Oregon 53.1% Idaho 50.2% Arizona 48.1% California 45.3% Wyoming 42.3% New Mexico 41.8% Colorado 36.6% Washington 30.3% Montana 29.9%District of Columbia 24.7% Hawaii 19.4% New Hampshire 13.5% North Carolina 11.8% Michigan 10.0% Virginia 9.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Source: U.S. General Services Administration 1/21/2013 10
  • Urbanized areas Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 11
  • Private lands Private lands Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 12
  • Joint ownership, or unknown Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 13
  • Private conservation lands Private conservation Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 14
  • Local/regional land agency Local/regional Private conservation Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 15
  • State land State Local/regional Private conservation Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 16
  • Tribal land Tribal State Local/regional Private conservation Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 17
  • Federal land Federal Tribal State Local/regional Private conservation Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 18
  • Federal lands breakdown Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 19
  • Defense, Energy, Army Corps of Engineers Defense, Energy, ACOE Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 20
  • Fish and Wildlife Service Fish and Wildlife Service Defense, Energy, ACOE Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 21
  • National Park Service National Park Service Fish and Wildlife Service Defense, Energy, ACOE Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 22
  • U.S. Forest Service Forest Service National Park Service Fish and Wildlife Service Defense, Energy, ACOE Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 23
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management BLM Forest Service National Park Service Fish and Wildlife Service Defense, Energy, ACOE Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute 1/21/2013 24
  • Percent of land protected by ecoregion Source: The Nature Conservancy 1/21/2013 25
  • THE HUMANFOOTPRINT 1/21/2013 26
  • The human footprint in the American West Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 27
  • The human footprint in the American West Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 28
  • The human footprint in the American West Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 29
  • The human footprint in the American West Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 30
  • Population density Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 31
  • Population density plus agriculture Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 32
  • Add highways Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 33
  • Add highways, railroads, Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 34
  • Add highways, railroads, powerlines, Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 35
  • Add highways, railroads, powerlines, canals Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 36
  • Landfills and waste transfer stations Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 37
  • Human-caused wildfires: 1986-2001 Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 38
  • Human-caused fire density Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 39
  • Oil and gas well density Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 40
  • Exotic plant invasion risk Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 41
  • Probability of feral cat presence Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 42
  • Probability of feral dog presence Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 43
  • The human footprint in the American West Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 44
  • GROWTH 1/21/2013 45
  • Growing share of U.S. population lives in West 90 25% 80 11 Western states % US in 11 Western states 20% 70 60 15% 50Millions 40 10% 30 20 5% 10 - 0% Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 46
  • Population of Western states, 1850 to 2030 50 45 40 35 CA AZ 30 WA COMillions 25 OR NV 20 UT NM 15 ID MT 10 WY 5 0 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 47
  • Population of Western states, 1850 to 2030 12 Excluding California Arizona 10 Washington 8Millions 6 Colorado Oregon Nevada 4 Utah New Mexico 2 Idaho Montana Wyoming 0 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 48
  • The Westward march of the U.S. population Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 49
  • The West has many of the growth hotspots Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 50
  • The West has many of the growth hotspots Percentage change in population: 2000 to 2010 Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 51
  • The West’s population is highly concentrated Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1/21/2013 52
  • LAND TRUSTS 1/21/2013 53
  • Location of conservation easements Source: National Conservation Easement Database 1/21/2013 54
  • Conservation easements in Colorado Source: National Conservation Easement Database 1/21/2013 55
  • Conservation easements in Montana Source: National Conservation Easement Database 1/21/2013 56
  • Acres protected by land trusts is increasing 18 Total Acres Protected 16 Acres Under Easement Acres Owned 14Millions of acres protected 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 57
  • Easements are most common form of protection 18 16 14 12 10 Acquired, reconveMillions yed, otherof acres 8 Under easement 6 Owned 4 2 0 2000 2005 2010 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 58
  • Number of land trusts in 2010 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 59
  • Change in number of land trusts: 2000 to 2010 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 60
  • Cumulative acres conserved by land trusts in 2010 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 61
  • Portion of each state conserved by land trusts Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 62
  • Change in acres conserved: 2000 to 2010 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 63
  • Land trust accreditation is growing140 Number of accredited land trusts120100 80 60 40 20 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 64
  • Acres protected by accreditation of land trust 50 45 Protected by accredited land trusts 40 35 30 Protected by non- accredited land trustsMillionsof acres 25 20 15 10 Protected by The Nature Conservancy (current applicant) 5 0 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 65
  • Number of land trusts accredited by 2010 Source: Land Trust Alliance 1/21/2013 66
  • RANCHING 1/21/2013 67
  • Pasture, rangeland, and cattle in the U.S. Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/21/2013 68
  • Milk cows concentrated in certain areas Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 69
  • Beef cows more widely distributed Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 70
  • Survey of federal grazing permittees Part-time Professional ranchers ranchers Trophy rancher Corporate 6% rancher 13% Working part-time Sheep 15% herder 4% Small Dependent part-time family 11% rancher 20% Retired part-time Diversified 18% family rancher 13% Source: Gentner and Tanaka (2002) 1/21/2013 71
  • Profile of public lands grazing permittees Part-Time Ranchers Professional Ranchers Diversified Dependent Small Part- Retired Working Trophy Corporate Sheep Family Family Time Part-Time Part-Time Rancher Rancher Rancher Rancher Rancher Tradition, Values, Culture 3.7 4.6 4.5 3.4 4.1 4.9 4.5 4.4 Good Place to Raise a Family 3.7 4.6 4.6 3.3 4.2 4.9 4.5 4.5 Reasons to Pass to Future Generations 1.5 4.3 4 2.4 2.3 4.8 4.1 3.8own a ranch (1 = least Live Closer to Family /Friends 2.8 3.9 3.5 2.1 2.9 4.4 3.5 3.2 important, 5 = most Profit 2.6 3.7 3.6 2.6 3.7 4.2 3.6 3.5important) No Other Skills 1.5 2.3 1.8 1.3 2 3.3 2.3 2.3 Environmental Purposes 2.4 2.2 2.3 2.1 1.9 2.3 2 2 Livestock 13 21.5 18.2 21.1 74.9 84.7 71.9 80.8 Other Ranch 4.5 21.4 2.3 7.7 7.7 6 9.2 2.1 Income Off-Ranch 57.2 5.1 77.4 15.7 7.6 4.8 9.2 6.2 (% by Source) Retirement 12.9 36.5 0.5 9.1 1.4 2.5 2.6 0.7 Investments 11.7 8.8 1.2 40.7 3.2 1.4 3.3 7.1 Other 1.8 5.9 0.4 5.1 2.2 0.5 3.7 3 Net 65,857 44,602 53,491 94,245 42,970 46,926 50,116 53,000 Income ($) Source: Gentner and Tanaka (2002) 1/21/2013 72
  • Profile of public lands grazing permittees Part-Time Ranchers Professional Ranchers Diversified Dependent Small Part- Retired Part- Working Trophy Corporate Sheep Family Family Time Time Part-Time Rancher Rancher Rancher Rancher RancherDeeded Acres 1,398 2,620 1,563 11,134 4,765 4,058 12,554 14,849 Cows 79.5 122 143 466.7 276.2 295.7 615.2 385.8# of Animals Ewes 27.5 4.4 10.1 0.8 7.8 10.6 3.1 796Age (years) 57.5 64 51.3 59 53.9 61.1 55.6 57.8History (years) 22.4 29.2 36.9 13.3 35.3 29.5 33 32Labor Family 10.5 17.2 14.9 13.5 20.7 24.6 26.7 27.5(person-months/year) Hired 4.5 4.8 2.3 28.2 4.3 3.6 32 45.3 Source: Gentner and Tanaka (2002) 1/21/2013 73
  • AGRICULTURE 1/21/2013 74
  • Farmland most concentrated in Midwest Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 75
  • Major decreases in farm acreage in parts of West Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 76
  • Irrigation essential west of 100th Meridian 100th Meridian Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 77
  • Big decreases in irrigated acres in Central Valley Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 78
  • Agriculture dominates nation’s midsection Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 79
  • But West has some hotspots of agricultural value Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 80
  • Grains, oil seeds, dry beans, and dry peas Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 81
  • Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 82
  • Fruits, tree nuts, and berries Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 83
  • Acres of vegetables harvested for sale Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 84
  • Acres in orchards Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 85
  • Agricultural land developed: 1982 to 2007 Rhode IslandNew Hampshire North Dakota Vermont Nebraska Connecticut Montana Maine South Dakota Delaware Wyoming Massachusetts Kansas North Dakota Iowa Nebraska New Mexico South Dakota Oklahoma Oregon Wyoming Colorado West Virginia Missouri Montana Minnesota Iowa Texas Oregon Idaho New Jersey Arkansas Maryland Utah Idaho Washington Arkansas Illinois Utah Arizona Nevada Mississippi Louisiana Indiana Mississippi Nevada Kansas Wisconsin Washington Louisiana South Carolina Vermont New York New York Virginia Kentucky Minnesota Ohio New Mexico West Virginia Missouri Alabama California Alabama Michigan Oklahoma Georgia Indiana Virginia Wisconsin Tennessee Colorado Pennsylvania Kentucky South Carolina Georgia Maine Illinois North Carolina Western Michigan Maryland Pennsylvania Florida states in Tennessee Connecticut Ohio New Hampshire orange North Carolina Delaware Arizona Massachusetts Florida Rhode Island California New Jersey Texas 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 0 1,000,000 2,000,000 3,000,000 4,000,000 Acres of ag land converted % of ag land converted Source: Farmland Information Center 1/21/2013 86
  • Rural land developed: 1982 to 2007 Rhode Island North Dakota North Dakota Delaware Nebraska Vermont Montana South Dakota Nebraska Wyoming Wyoming Kansas South Dakota Iowa Connecticut New Mexico Montana Oregon Iowa OklahomaNew Hampshire Minnesota Utah Utah Nevada Colorado Maine Maine Idaho Idaho Kansas Missouri Oregon Arkansas Maryland Texas West Virginia Arizona New Mexico Illinois Arkansas Wisconsin Oklahoma Vermont Massachusetts Mississippi New Jersey Louisiana Indiana Washington Louisiana Indiana Minnesota Nevada Mississippi New York Colorado West Virginia Wisconsin Kentucky Missouri California Illinois Alabama Washington Michigan Kentucky Ohio Arizona Tennessee New York Virginia Virginia Pennsylvania Ohio South Carolina New Hampshire Georgia Western Alabama Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina states in Michigan Pennsylvania Florida orange Connecticut California Maryland Georgia Delaware North Carolina Rhode Island Florida Massachusetts Texas New Jersey 0 1,000,000 2,000,000 3,000,000 4,000,000 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% Source: Farmland Information Center 1/21/2013 87
  • Farmland at risk of development Source: American Farmland Trust 1/21/2013 88
  • MINING 1/21/2013 89
  • Active mines and mineral processing plants Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 90
  • Most mine or process sand, gravel, or crushed stone Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 91
  • Copper mines Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 92
  • Silver mines Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 93
  • Gold mines Source: U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 94
  • Prices for key minerals in the American West$12,000$10,000 Copper (per metric ton)$8,000$6,000$4,000$2,000 $0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 $160 $140 $120 Uranium (per pound) $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012$2,000 Gold (per ounce)$1,500$1,000 $500 $0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Index Mundi 1/21/2013 95
  • FORESTRY 1/21/2013 96
  • Percent forest by ecoregion Source: The Nature Conservancy 1/21/2013 97
  • Timber produced by national forests 16 Northern spotted owl Sold ESA listing 14 Harvested 12 10Billions ofboard- 8 feet 6 4 2 0 Source: U.S. Forest Service 1/21/2013 98
  • Timber cut by national forest: 2010 Source: Headwaters Economics 1/21/2013 99
  • Timber cut in national forests by state Source: Headwaters Economics 1/21/2013 100
  • Timber cut in national forests by region Source: Headwaters Economics 1/21/2013 101
  • ENERGY 1/21/2013 102
  • Primary energy consumption by source Primary energy consumption Primary energy consumption by source by sector Petroleum 37% Residential 23% Transportation 28% Natural gas 25% Other renewables 4% Biomass Commercial 4% 19% Nuclear 9% Industrial Coal 31% 21% Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 103
  • Fossil fuels continue to dominate energy sources Consumption by major source, 1949-2010 45 40 35 30 PetroleumQuadrillion Btu Natural Gas 25 Coal Nuclear 20 Biomass Other renewables 15 10 5 0 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 104
  • Primary energy consumption by sector Total consumption by end-use sector, 1949-2010 40 35 Industrial 30 Transportation 25Quadrillion Btu Residential 20 Commercial 15 10 5 0 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 105
  • Million Btu Quadrillion Btu 0 4 6 10 0 4 6 10 8 8 2 2 12 12 Wyoming Texas Alaska California Louisiana Florida North Dakota New York Iowa Illinois Texas Pennsylvania South Dakota Ohio Kentucky Louisiana Nebraska Georgia Montana Michigan Indiana Indiana Alabama North Carolina Oklahoma New Jersey West Virginia Virginia Mississippi Tennessee Kansas Arkansas Washington South Carolina Alabama Minnesota Kentucky Tennessee Missouri New Mexico Minnesota Idaho Wisconsin Maine South Carolina Ohio Oklahoma Wisconsin Arizona United States Colorado Washington Maryland District of Columbia Massachusetts Missouri Iowa Virginia Mississippi Georgia Kansas Illinois Oregon Pennsylvania Arkansas Colorado Connecticut Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Delaware Energy consumption by state: 2009 Nebraska Estimated Consumption per Person, 2009 Oregon Utah New Jersey West Virginia State-Level Energy Consumption Estimates, 2009 North Carolina Nevada Utah New Mexico Michigan Alaska Nevada Wyoming Vermont Idaho Maryland Florida Maine New Hampshire North Dakota Connecticut Montana Arizona South Dakota California New Hampshire orange Massachusetts Hawaii states in Western1/21/2013 Hawaii Delaware Rhode Island Rhode Island New York District of Columbia Vermont106
  • Energy consumption per person Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 107
  • Energy prices Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 108
  • Energy consumption vs. energy prices R2=.465 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 109
  • Primary energy produced by source type 70 60 50 40Quadrillion BTU Fossil Fuels 30 Nuclear Renewable 20 10 0 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 110
  • Primary energy production by source: 2011 Oil Solar/PV 15.35% 0.20% Wind Geothermal Nuclear 1.50% 0.29% 10.58% Coal Hydroelectric 28.40% 4.06% Renewables 12% Biomass 5.78% Natural gas 33.85% Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 111
  • Nuclear industry has been flat for decades Operable Units, 1957-2010 120 100 Peak: 112 units inNumber of Units 1990 104 Units in 80 2010 60 40 20 0 1957 1967 1977 1987 1997 2007 Nuclear Share of Total Electricity Net Generation, 1957-2010 25 20 15 Percent 10 5 0 1957 1967 1977 1987 1997 2007 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 112
  • Coal continues to dominate power portfolio Electric Power Sector, 1949-2010100% Renewable Energy 90% Nuclear Electric 80% Power 70% Petroleum 60% Natural Gas 50% Coal 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1963 1993 2003 1957 1973 1987 1951 1975 1981 1989 1965 1983 1995 1997 2005 1953 1959 1967 1977 1961 1991 2001 2007 1971 1979 1985 1949 1969 1999 2009 1955 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 113
  • Natural gas has fueled most new power plants 60000 Generating capacity by initial year of operation Wind 50000 Petroleum Other Nuclear 40000 Natural gasMegawatts Coal 30000 Hydro 20000 10000 0 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 114
  • Natural gas will stay the favored fuel for new plants Additions to electricity generating capacity 60 50 40 Other/ Renewables Natural Gas/ OilGigawatts Nuclear 30 Hydropower Coal 20 10 0 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 115
  • Cost of new generation in 2017 Solar Thermal Solar PV Advanced Coal with CCSGas: Conventional Combustion Turbine Biomass Advanced Nuclear Advanced Coal Levelized capital cost Gas: Advanced Combustion Turbine Fixed O&M Geothermal Variable O&M (incl. fuel) Conventional Coal Transmission Investment Wind Gas: Advanced CC with CCS Hydro Gas: Conventional Combined Cycle Gas: Advanced Combined Cycle 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 2010 $/megawatt-hour Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 116
  • Electricity generation by fuel 2,000 1,800 1,600 2010 2020 1,400 2035Billion kilowatt-hours 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 Coal Natural gas Nuclear Renewables Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 117
  • Conventional, tight, and shale gas Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Geological Survey 1/21/2013 118
  • Natural gas production by source 30 Shale gas Tight gas Lower 48 onshore conventional 25 Lower 48 offshore Coalbed methane Alaska 20Trillion cubic feet 15 10 5 0 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 119
  • Conventional gas production: on- and off-shore Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 120
  • Shale gas found throughout the country Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 121
  • Lower 48 on-shore natural gas production 2035 West Coast 2010 2035Rocky Mountain 2010 2035 Southwest 2010 Other gas Shale gas 2035 Coalbed methane Midcontinent 2010 Tight gas 2035 Gulf Coast 2010 2035 Northeast 2010 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Trillion cubic feet Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 122
  • Federal lands important for fossil fuel production 45 40 35 30 25Percent 20 15 % of US total for natural gas 10 % of US total for fossil fuels 5 0 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 123
  • Fossil fuel production on public/tribal lands Sales of fossil fuels produced on federal and Indian lands, 2003-2001 25 20 Total Fossil Fuels CoalQuadrillion Btu 15 Natural Gas Crude Oil and Lease Condensate Natural Gas Plant Liquids 10 5 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 124
  • Natural gas produced on federal/tribal lands Sales of natural gas produced on federal and Indian Lands, 2003-2011 8000 7000 6000Billion Cubic Feet 5000 4000 3000 Total Onshore Federal 2000 Offshore Federal Indian Lands 1000 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 125
  • Hydro, wood, and biofuels are top renewables 9 Renewable Energy: Total Consumption and Energy Sources, 1949-2010 8 7Quadrillion Btu 6 Total Hydroelectric 5 Wood Biofuels 4 Wind Solar 3 2 1 0 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 126
  • Projected growth in non-hydro renewable energy 140 Solid waste/landfill gas Geothermal 120 Biomass 100 Solar Wind 80Gigawatts 60 40 20 0 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/21/2013 127
  • Wind power capacity growing rapidly Source: American Wind Energy Association 1/21/2013 128
  • The Midwest has the best wind power potential Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 1/21/2013 129
  • Wind power has been deployed throughout nation Source: American Wind Energy Association 1/21/2013 130
  • Sage grouse range overlaps best wind power areas Source: U.S. Geological Survey, WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 1/21/2013 131
  • Solar power making gains Source: Solar Energy Industry Association 1/21/2013 132
  • Southwest is the hotspot for solar power Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 1/21/2013 133
  • Desert tortoise range overlaps with solar hotspots Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bureau of Land Management 1/21/2013 134
  • Federal solar energy zones Source: Bureau of Land Management 1/21/2013 135
  • Land-use intensity for energy production/efficiency Biodiesel from soy Electricity from biomass Ethanol from cellulose Ethanol from corn Ethanol from sugarcane Wind Hydropower Petroleum Solar photovoltaic Natural gas Solar thermal Coal Geothermal Nuclear power Efficiency gains (electricity) Efficiency gains (liquids) -200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Land-use intensity in 2030 (km2/TW-hr/yr) Source: McDonald et al. (2009) 1/21/2013 136
  • Habitat impacts due to future energy development Minimum new area (km2) of habitat impacted Coal Biomass Biofuels Wind Boreal forests 94 2 3 6 Deserts 2,310 257 372 884 Flooded grasslands - 30 41 - Mediterranean habitat 5 123 1,699 54 Temperate conifer forests 4,936 1,883 12,977 2,835 Temperate deciduous forests 10,297 4,014 76,841 428 Temperate grasslands 7,508 3,760 46,821 1,392 Tropical dry forests - 4 5 34 Tropical grasslands 1,304 59 1,583 3 Tropical moist forests - 7 9 78 Tundra - - - - Source: McDonald et al. (2009) 1/21/2013 137
  • Corn production and ethanol plants Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service 1/21/2013 138
  • Conclusion • Although much of the West is publicly owned, the level of protection afforded to this land varies dramatically. • Some of the least disturbed areas are protected as wilderness or national parks, but many of these relatively pristine places remain vulnerable to development. • The West’s population is growing fast and becoming increasingly urbanized. • Livestock grazing and agriculture still have the biggest footprint in the West, but some extractive industries, such as public lands logging, are in decline. • Already a major energy producer, the West is home to some key natural gas deposits and the nation’s best sites for solar power, but developing these resources can cause significant environmental damage. 1/21/2013 139
  • Download more slides and other libraries ecowest.org Contact us by e-mailing mitch@ceaconsulting.com 1/21/2013 140
  • EcoWest advisors Jon Christensen, Executive Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West and a Principal Investigator in the Spatial History Project at Stanford University Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director for the Sierra Club, who has over 30 years of experience designing and implementing environmental campaigns Robert Glennon, Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona; author of Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters and Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It 1/21/2013 141
  • EcoWest advisors Jonathan Hoekstra, a global science leader at The Nature Conservancy who directs the Science program in his home state of Washington and the lead author of the Atlas of Global Conservation Timothy Male, Vice President of Conservation Policy for Defenders of Wildlife, where he directs the Habitat and Highways, Conservation Planning, Federal Lands, Oregon Biodiversity Partnership, and Economics programs Thomas Swetnam, Director of the Laboratory of Tree- Ring Research at the University of Arizona and a leading expert on wildfires and Western forests 1/21/2013 142
  • Contributors at California Environmental Associates Mitch Tobin Editor of EcoWest.org Communications Director at CEA Micah Day Associate at CEA Matthew Elliott Contact us by e-mailing Principal at CEA mitch@ceaconsulting.com Max Levine Associate at CEA Caroline Ott Research Associate at CEA Sarah Weldon Affiliated consultant at CEA 1/21/2013 143