Marin County is updating its Countywide Plan, which has the objective of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. Our report shows how landscape ecology can be used to help conceptualize local land-use plans to conserve and restore ecosystems and their services to society, and thus meet the planning objective.
A team of senior scientists possessing an extensive body of knowledge about the Marin bayshore and adjoining uplands was assembled to review detailed maps of historical and modern habitats, select wildlife species to represent the basic ecological structure and function of the bayshore landscape, and to draft a set of descriptions of how these species connect the various parts of the landscape into one ecological whole.
Eleven animal taxa were selected as “focal species” and their local natural histories were summarized. Rule sets were developed for depicting the distribution and use of the landscape by each focal species in a geographic information system (GIS). These rules indicate how each species connects one part of the landscape to another.
The project was completed in January 2007.