Geodataset Name:       GWECO_PRIO_2002
Geodataset Type:       SHAPEFILE
Geodataset Feature:    POLYGON
This data set contains the Florida Ecological Greenways Network and Critical Linkages Prioritization Results approved by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council in April 2002. These priorities represent the most important areas for protecting large connected landscapes in Florida. Ranking is from 1 - 7, with 1 representing the highest priority areas and 7 representing the least.
DATA SOURCE(S):                    University of Florida GeoPlan Center
DATE OF AUTOMATION OF SOURCE:      Source - 1998  Automated - 2002
GEODATASET EXTENT:                 State of Florida


Datafile Name: GWECO_PRIO_2002.DBF
4 OID ---
0 Geometry ---
12 Number 3
12 Number 3
75 String ---
10 Number ---
10 String ---
10 String ---


Item Description
FID Internal feature number.

Shape Feature geometry.

AREA Area of the polygon in meters

PERIMETER Perimeter of the polygon in meters

NAME The name of the project area. Only records with a priority level of 1 have been named.

CRIT_PRIO Represents the combined Critical Linkages and Priority Levels for the entire Ecological Greenways Network. A value of 1 are the Critical Linkages adopted by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council in April, 2002. These areas are the highest priority for protecting large, connected landscapes needed to effectively conserve biological diversity, ecosystem services, and other natural resources across the state. Values of 2 through 7 represent the remaining priority levels for the rest of the Ecological Greenways Network outside of Critical Linkages, with a value of 2 representing the next highest priority level after Critical Linkages (represented by a value of 1) and a value of 7 representing the lowest priority within the Ecological Greenways Network.

CRIT_LINK Indicates whether the respective area (polygon) is within a Critical Linkage.
YES = means that it is within a Critical Linkage

NO = means that it is not within a Critical Linkage

PRIORITY Priority Ranking Level. (HIGH = Priority Levels 1,2,3; MEDIUM = Priority Levels 4,5,6; LOW = Priority Level 7)

GeoPlan relied on the integrity of the attribute information within the original data.

Since 1995, The University of Florida has been working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to assist in the development of the Florida Statewide Greenways Plan. The University of Florida was asked to develop a decision support model to help identify the best opportunities to protect ecological connectivity statewide. Geographic information systems (GIS) software was used to analyze all of the best available data on land use data and significant ecological areas including important habitats for native species, important natural communities, wetlands, roadless areas, floodplains, and important aquatic ecosystems.

All of this information was then integrated in a process that identified a statewide Ecological Greenways Network containing all of the largest areas of ecological and natural resource significance and the landscape linkages necessary to link these areas together in one functional statewide network. The process was collaborative and overseen by three separate state-appointed greenways councils. During the development of the model, technical input was obtained from the Florida Greenways Commission, Florida Greenways Coordinating Council, state, regional, and federal agencies, scientists, university personnel, conservation groups, planners and the general public in over 20 sessions. When the modeling was completed, the results were thoroughly reviewed in public meetings statewide as part of the development of the Greenways Implementation Plan completed in 1999.

In 1999-2000, the Ecological Greenways Network was prioritized, reviewed, and approved by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. The approved prioritization separated the Network into 6 priority levels to delineate degrees of significance and to support strategic protection efforts. The ecological greenways were prioritized in a two step process. First, two meetings with staff from the Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, the Water Management Districts, and other agencies and groups were conducted to discuss criteria and data for selecting priorities. Based on these meetings, the University of Florida developed a GIS model that refined and modified the original ecological greenways model process to identify features within the ecological greenways model results that were either high, moderate, or lower priorities for protecting statewide connectivity.

The next step involved separating areas identified as high and moderate priorities into even more refined classes of priority using a general set of criteria. Though the original prioritization was used to support this effort, more refined priorities were needed to serve as a better planning tool. The following criteria was used to place potential landscape linkage and corridor projects into more refined priority classes:

1) Potential importance for maintaining or restoring populations of wide-ranging species (e.g., Florida black bear and Florida panther)

2) Importance for maintaining a statewide, connected reserve network from south Florida through the panhandle.

3) Other important landscape linkages that provide additional opportunities to maintain statewide connectivity especially in support

4) Importance as a riparian corridor to protect water resources, provide functional habitat gradients, and to possibly provide connectivity to areas within other states. of higher priority linkages.

The Florida Greenways Program implementation report (1998) included the identification of critical linkages as the next step following prioritization in the process of protecting an ecological greenways network across the state. Critical linkages serve as more defined project areas that are most important for protecting the Florida Ecological Greenways Network. Such critical linkages are to be approved by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council on an iterative basis as linkages are protected or priorities change over time.

Two primary data sets were used to delineate the first iteration of critical linkages. To define linkages that are most critical to the protection of the Florida Ecological Greenways Network, prioritization based on both ecological criteria and level of threat by conversion to development (development pressure) is needed. For ecological-based prioritization, the prioritization process described above that categorized the Florida Ecological Greenways Network into six priority levels was used (Fig. 1; Hoctor et al. 2001). Development pressure was modeled by Jason Teisinger (2002). These analyses were then combined to identify candidate areas for selection as Critical Linkages. Areas were selected that had either very high ecological significance or high ecological significance while also having critical areas threatened by development. Ten areas were selected for Critical Linkage status and these areas will now serve as the highest priorities for protecting landscape connectivity through the Florida Forever Program, Save Our Rivers program, and for other conservation initiatives where state, regional, and local government can work with willing landowners to protect our best remaining large, connected landscapes statewide.

The Florida Ecological Greenways Network delineation process combined a systematic landscape analysis of ecological significance and the identification of critical landscape linkages in a way that can be replicated, enhanced with new data, and applied at different scales. The Ecological Network connects and integrates existing conservation areas with unprotected areas of high ecological significance. Such an integrated conservation land network will protect important ecological functions, community and landscape juxtapositions, and the need for biotic movement more thoroughly than the present collection of isolated conservation areas. The highest priority landscape linkages, and especially the Critical Linkages, within Ecological Greenways Network are essential for conserving viable populations of our flagships species such as the Florida black bear and Florida panther that require large, connected areas to support viable populations. These and other high priority ecological greenways also represent the best opportunities to maintain large, connected landscapes that will best conserve biological diversity over the long term and maintain essential ecological processes and services including water quality and quantity protection, protection from storms, clean air, nature recreation, etc. For more information on the Florida Ecological Greenways Network identification process, see Hoctor et al. (2000) or http://www.geoplan.ufl.edu.

It should be noted that some existing conservation lands are included within the Ecological Greenways Network prioritization results. The areas of overlap between Critical Linkages and various priority levels and existing conservation lands is intended to show connectivity to larger conservation lands and the role of smaller conservation lands in priority areas. However, the inclusion of existing conservation lands is not meant to serve as a comprehensive analysis or depiction of the significance of all existing conservation lands to the Ecological Greenways Network. The Ecological Greenways Network prioritization results are intended to help prioritize lands for existing and future conservation land protection (acquisition, easement, and incentive) programs. To best view and use this dataset, the most updated version of existing conservation lands from Florida Natural Areas Inventory (or available through FGDL) should be used as an overlay.

This dataset is based on the Ecological Greenways Network, which is the result of the public review process of the original ecological network model results. Between July 1997 and July 1998 review and comment was conducted using two approaches. Regional Greenways Task Forces reviewed the results and suggested modifications (July 1997 - May 1998) and public hearings were held (October 1997 and June - July 1998) where further modifications were suggested. The Florida Greenways Coordinating Council was asked to review these recommendations and to advise on their appropriateness. Suggested changes to the ecological model results derived from this process were minimal. They included the elimination of a few areas that were no longer suitable for inclusion because of their recent development or isolation from the rest of the network. In central and southeast Florida, there were a few areas suggested for addition to widen and enhance the effectiveness of corridors or to provide additional connectivity.

As provided for in Florida statutes, the Florida Ecological Greenways Network delineation and prioritization results are intended to be used for planning purposes related to land protection programs such as Florida Forever. The Greenways and Trails Program was established by statute (FS 260.0141) to facilitate the establishment of a statewide system of greenways and trails. Such greenways and trails shall be acquired pursuant to this act. Planning materials, maps, data, and other information developed or used in the program shall not be construed as designation of lands as part of the statewide system of greenways and trails. Identification of lands in such information shall not:

(1) Require or empower any unit of local or regional government, or any state agency, to impose additional or more restrictive environmental, land-use, or zoning regulations;

(2) Be construed or cited as authority to adopt, enforce, or amend any environmental rule or regulation; comprehensive plan goals, policies, or objectives; or zoning or land-use ordinance;

(3) Be used as the basis for permit denial; imposition of any permit condition; or application of any rule, regulation, or ordinance by any subdivision of local, regional, or state government; or

(4) Be construed or cited as authority by any governmental agency to reduce or restrict the rights of owners of lands so identified.

It should also be considered that this dataset is based on a GRID with a resolution of 180 meters (180 m X 180 m cells), which is approximately 8 acre squares. Therefore, users should not expect detailed accuracy at high resolutions. The modeling and identification effort of a statewide ecological network is intended to serve as a general basis for state level conservation planning. It may serve as an adequate framework or guide for regional and local conservation planning efforts, but it should be supplemented by more resolute datasets and analyses especially at the local level. The conservation/land protection process should also always include ground-truthing to evaluate sites in the field. In addition, these data are based on land use information that, by its nature, is outdated. An effort was made to update land use data provided by the Water Management Districts, mostly completed in 1990, by comparing this data with 1994-1995 SPOT 10 meter resolution imagery. All areas that appeared to be converted to development (residential, commercial, industrial but not including conversion to intensive agriculture) were added to avoid identifying areas as ecologically significant that are now developed. However, it should be obvious that development continues at a rapid pace, and areas identified in the model results could now be converted to intensive land uses or could be converted in the near future.

A note concerning data scale:

Scale is an important factor in data usage. Certain scale 
datasetsare not suitable for some project, analysis, or
modelling purposes. Please be sure you are using the best
available data.

1:24000 scale datasets are recommended for projects that 
are at the county level.

1:24000 data should NOT be used for high accuracy base 
mapping such as property parcel boundaries.

1:100000 scale datasets are recommended for projects that 
are at the multi-county or regional level.

1:250000 scale datasets are recommended for projects that 
are at the regional or state level or larger.

Vector datasets with no defined scale or accuracy should 
be considered suspect. Make sure you are familiar with 
your data before using it for projects or analyses. Every 
effort has been made to supply the user with data 
documentation. For additional information, see the 
References sectionand the Data Source Contact section of 
this documentation. For more information regarding scale 
and accuracy, see our web pages at:

See the University of Florida Final Report (available as a pdf 
document on the web at www.geoplan.ufl.edu) for the modeling process 
used to create the original Ecological Greenways Network:


Carr, Margaret H., Paul D.  Zwick, Thomas S.  Hoctor and Mark A.  
Benedict Final Report, Phase II, Florida Statewide Greenways 
Planning Project, Department of Landscape Architecture, 
University of Florida, February, 1999.

Cox, J., Kautz, R., MacLaughlin, M., and Gilbert, T.  1994.  
Closing the gaps in Florida's wildlife habitat conservation system.  
Tallahassee, FL:  Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, 
Office of Environmental Services.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida 
Greenways Coordinating Council. 1998. Connecting Florida's 
Communities with Greenways and Trails, The Five Year Implementation 
Plan for the Florida Greenways and Trails System. Tallahassee, FL.

Florida Greenways Commission.  1994.  Creating a Statewide Greenways 
System For People...For Wildlife...For Florida - Florida Greenways 
Commission Report to the Governor.  Tallahassee, FL:  1000 Friends of Florida.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  1995.  Florida Natural Areas Inventory 
Datasets.  Tallahassee, FL:  Florida Natural Areas Inventory.

Harris, L.D.  1985.  Conservation Corridors:  a highway system for 
wildlife.  ENFO:85-5.  Winter Park:  FL:  Florida Conservation Foundation.

Harris, L.  D., T.  Hoctor, D.  Maehr and J.  Sanderson.  1996.  
The role of networks and corridors in enhancing the value and protection 
of parks and equivalent areas.  Pp.  173-198 in Wright, R.  G., ed.  
National Parks and Protected Areas:  Their Role in Environmental Areas.  
Cambridge, MA:  Blackwell Science.

Hoctor, T. S., M. H. Carr, P. D. Zwick. 2000. Identifying a linked 
reserve system using a regional landscape approach: the Florida 
ecological network. Conservation Biology 14:984-1000.

Hoctor, T. S., J. Teisinger, M. H. Carr, P. D. Zwick. 2001. 
Ecological Greenways Network Prioritization for the State of Florida.  
Final Report. Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Department of 
Environmental Protection. Tallahassee, FL.

Hoctor, T. S., J. Teisinger, M. H. Carr, P. D. Zwick. 2002. 
Identification of Critical Linkages Within the Florida Ecological 
Greenways Network.  Final Report. Office of Greenways and Trails, 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee, FL.

Noss, R.  F.  1987.  Protecting natural areas in fragmented landscapes.  
Natural Areas Journal 7:2-13.

Noss, R.  F.  and L.  D.  Harris.  1986.  Nodes, Networks and MUMs:  
Preserving Diversity at All Scales.  Environment
Management 10:299-309.

Pritchard, P.C.H., and Kale, H.W.  1994.  Saving what's left.  
Casselberry, FL:  Florida Audubon Society.

Smith, D.S., and P.C.  Hellmund, Eds.  1993.  Ecology of 
Greenways - Design and Function of Linear Conservation Areas.  
Minneapolis, MN:  University of Minneapolis Press.

Teisinger, Jason. 2002. Where will we grow? Using Geographic
Information Systems to determine Florida statewide residential 
growth potential. Masters Project. College of Design, Construction 
and Planning, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University 
of Florida.

The Nature Conservancy.  1991.  Preservation 2000 Charette and Map.  
Tallahassee, FL:  The Nature Conservancy.

University of Florida.  1996.  Final Report for Phase I of the 
Statewide Greenways System Planning Project. Gainesville, FL:  
University of Florida, Department of Landscape Architecture and 
GeoPlan Center, Department of Urban
and Regional Planning.

This dataset is a prioritized version of the Ecological Network 
Results of the Florida Greenways GIS Decision Support Model 
(represented by the data layer GWECOP) based on recommendations 
from public comment.  See the University of Florida Final Report 
(available as a pdf document on the web at www.geoplan.ufl.edu) 
for the modeling process used to create the original Ecological 
Greenways Network:


The process used to develop the Ecological Greenways Network 
priorities and to identify critical linkages is described briefly above in 
the user notes, and in two final reports (Hoctor et al. 2001; Hoctor et 
al. 2002) are available from the Office of Greenways and Trails, 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection or can be downloaded 
at www.geoplan.ufl.edu.
Process Date: 20020101

Geoplan removed numerous slivers using the eliminate tool within arc toolbox. Names were removed from records that were not catergorized as critical linkages. Process Date: 20050405

Projection                          ALBERS
Datum                               HPGN
Units                               METERS
Spheroid                            GRS1980
1st Standard Parallel               24  0  0.000
2nd Standard Parallel               31 30  0.000
Central Meridian                   -84 00  0.000
Latitude of Projection's Origin     24  0  0.000
False Easting (meters)              400000.00000
False Northing (meters)             0.00000


Abbr. Name:


Web site:
Contact Person:
University of Florida GeoPlan Center
431 Architecture PO Box 115706
Gainesville, FL

http://www.fgdl.org/download/index.html tomh@geoplan.ufl.edu Tom Hoctor
Abbr. Name:             FGDL
Address:                Florida Geographic Data Library
                        431 Architecture Building
                        PO Box 115706
                        Gainesville, FL  32611-5706
Web site:               http://www.fgdl.org

Contact FGDL: 

      Technical Support:	        http://www.fgdl.org/fgdlfeed.html
      FGDL Frequently Asked Questions:  http://www.fgdl.org/fgdlfaq.html
      FGDL Mailing Lists:		http://www.fgdl.org/fgdl-l.html
      For FGDL Software:                http://www.fgdl.org/software.html