Southeast Blueprint 2020
The Southeast Conservation Blueprint is a map of important areas for conservation and restoration across the Southeast and Caribbean. The Blueprint is the primary product of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS). Through SECAS, diverse partners are working together to design and achieve a connected network of lands and waters that supports thriving fish and wildlife populations and improved quality of life for people.
Extent of Southeast Blueprint 2020
The Southeast Blueprint covers the entire SECAS geography with the exception of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the appropriate spatial plans have not yet been identified. The SECAS geography encompasses the states and territories that are part of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which includes 15 states as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of the data used to create the Southeast Blueprint extends beyond the SECAS geography; however, we clipped the Blueprint to the SECAS boundary to make the file download more manageable and to reflect the area where Blueprint user support and partner input are focused.
The Blueprint stitches together smaller subregional plans into one consistent map, incorporating the best available information about the current condition of key species and habitats, as well as future threats. The Blueprint is regularly updated and revised to incorporate improvements to the underlying data. Version 2020 of the Southeast Blueprint integrates the following plans:
Mapping Steps to Prepare Inputs
To improve consistency between inputs, we reclassified each input to get as close as possible to 30% of the input data area in “high conservation value” and 20% of the input data area in “medium conservation value”. When priorities were continuous, we used a quantile classification and selected break points. When priorities were discrete, we classified them to get as close as possible to those percentages.
The list below explains the how the priority classes from the input data were translated into the Southeast Blueprint classes of high and medium (if a data value is not shown in the list, then it is not used in the Southeast Blueprint):
Florida Blueprint 1.3:
South Atlantic Blueprint 2020:
North Atlantic Nature’s Network:
Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (Texas):
Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (Oklahoma):
Middle South Blueprint:
According to the integration rules below, the Middle Southeast Blueprint is not used where it extends into IL, KS, TX, and OK. To create the exact layer used as the Middle Southeast input to Southeast Blueprint 2020, Middle Southeast Blueprint 2020 was spatially rebalanced across this more limited extent. This helps ensure that the Southeast Blueprint prioritizes closer to 50% of this subset of the Middle Southeast geography. For details about how the specific input layer was computed, contact Middle Southeast Blueprint Science Coordinator, Todd Jones-Farrand (email@example.com).
Gulf Hypoxia Blueprint:
We used the sum of priorities for water and conservation interests. This layer was used specifically to fill in a gap in Blueprint prioritization in the Northern part of Missouri. This input covers the full state of Missouri.
Caribbean Landscape Conservation Design:
Appalachian NatureScape and TNC Resilient and Connected Landscapes “Prioritized Network”:
In addition to the NatureScape priority classes, we used portions of The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected Landscapes “Prioritized Network” layer to cover enough area to be consistent with the other inputs (about 50% of the landscape). These two inputs cover a large area; however, we only used them in the portion of the SECAS geography not covered by any other plans.
Florida Marine Blueprint:
Mapping Steps to Integrate Inputs
Approach for areas with overlapping inputs
Most of the subregional inputs to the Southeast Blueprint overlap with one or more other inputs to create “overlap zones”. Including multiple inputs in the Blueprint in those overlap zones can make the Blueprint harder to understand and lead to overprioritization. In this version of the Blueprint, we developed rules that minimize the number of areas that use multiple inputs. In some overlap areas, however, the conservation community is already aligning their work around more than one of the Blueprint inputs. In these cases with known uses of multiple Blueprint inputs, we included both inputs.
Reviewing results of integration rules
In older versions of the Southeast Blueprint, three areas had particular problems with overprioritization: Virginia/West Virginia, Texas/Oklahoma, and the Gulf of Mexico. In 2019, we convened teams of local experts in each of these overlap zones to review the potential integration rules. They looked at maps depicting the spatial results of the various integration options and approved the final approach that we continue to use in Blueprint 2020.
Implementation of integration rules
Once each input was spatially rebalanced, it was then resampled to a 30 meter cell size. Inputs were combined to create a seamless Southeast Blueprint 2020 layer using the steps below.
We used the “IntegrationMask” field from the “Input Areas” vector layer to help apply the integration rules.
In areas where IntegrationMask equals 1 (most of the inland Southeast, excluding TX, OK, and the Southern Appalachians), the Florida, South Atlantic, Nature’s Network, Middle Southeast, Gulf Hypoxia and Caribbean inputs were combined using the following rules:
In areas where IntegrationMask equals 2 (TX and OK), the CHAT was the only input used.
In areas where IntegrationMask equals 4 (the Southern Appalachians), the Middle Southeast and Appalachian NatureScape and TNC Resilient and Connected Landscapes “Prioritized Network” inputs were combined using the following rules:
The Florida Marine Blueprint was only used in places not already covered by the above plans (areas where the IntegrationMask equals 5).
In the Blueprint, we assign a value of “not identified as medium or high” to any pixel not already identified as “high conservation value” or “medium conservation value” that overlaps with the Southeast Blueprint 2020 Input Areas. The Southeast Blueprint 2020 Input Areas layer is an imperfect approximation of the analysis extent for each subregional Blueprint input and will continue to be improved over time. Areas outside of the input areas are kept as NoData.
Contact Blueprint staff
Do you have a question about the Blueprint? Would you like help using the Blueprint to support a proposal or inform a decision? Staff across the Southeast are here to support you!
The Blueprint is also revised based on input from people like you. So if you have a suggestion on how to improve the priorities, let us know!
To get help or provide feedback, reach out to the staff person working in your state:
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.
Potential Metadata Source