Development of a Cooperative Land Cover Map
   Gary Knight, Florida State University

Abstract: A goal of the Florida Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (Strategy) is to represent Florida’s diverse habitats in a spatially-explicit manner. To further that goal the Strategy has identified improved land cover mapping as a priority data gap. Although there is a wealth of habitat-related GIS data layers in Florida these vary in purpose, extent, resolution and accuracy so that no single system is adequate for all purposes. Independent and sometimes duplicative efforts exist to combine various data layers. Thus there is a clear need to develop a single statewide land cover map based on best available data that has broad support and can be used by a diverse group of planners and managers. To develop a statewide Cooperative Land Cover Map that incorporates the strengths of various existing GIS data including land use, land cover, natural community and other habitat data sets. As a partnership between Florida Natural Areas Inventory and the FWC, the Cooperative Land Cover Map should meet the habitat mapping needs of the FWC and its partners and inform conservation planning and management throughout the state. It would eliminate the confusion of modifications to land covers by various sources; and it would provide a single product with wide support from stakeholders that is more accurate than any existing statewide land cover data layer. Furthermore, it would target revisions to the Strategy’s priority habitats, including scrub and sandhill. The approach will follow methods developed by FNAI for their work on the Under-represented Natural Communities data for the Florida Forever program. This involves identifying all possible GIS sources for a particular habitat, assessing accuracy and congruency among sources and developing criteria to decide which, if any, new sources are used in the revision. The assessments also determine problem areas for each habitat that will undergo review with high resolution aerial photography. Criteria and resulting habitat layers will be reviewed by partners and experts with special knowledge of those habitats.

Award Matching Funds Total
$140,761.00 $140,761.00 $281,522.00

Year Funded Starting Date Ending Date
2007 7/1/2008 6/30/2011

Location: Leon County