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Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) Version 1.1 Data Download


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The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is a geodatabase that illustrates and describes public land ownership, management and conservation lands nationally, including voluntarily provided privately protected areas. The lands included in PAD-US are assigned conservation measures that qualify their intent to manage lands for the preservation of biological diversity and to other natural, recreational and cultural uses; managed for these purposes through legal or other effective means. The geodatabase includes: 1) Geographic boundaries of public land ownership and voluntarily provided private conservation lands (e.g., Nature Conservancy Preserves); 2) The combination land owner, land manager, management designation or [...]


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The mission of the USGS Gap Analysis Program (GAP) is to provide state, regional and national assessments of the conservation status of native vertebrate species and natural land cover types and to facilitate the application of this information to land management activities. The PAD-US geodatabase is required to organize and assess the management status (i.e. apply GAP Status Codes) of elements of biodiversity protection. The goal of GAP is to keep common species common by identifying species and plant communities not adequately represented in existing conservation lands. Common species are those not currently threatened with extinction. By identifying their habitats, Gap Analysis gives land managers and policy makers the information they need to make better-informed decisions when identifying priority areas for conservation. In cooperation with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, GAP ensures PAD-US also supports global analyses and policy decisions by maintaining World Database for Protected Areas (WDPA) Site Codes and data for International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorized protected areas in the United States. The USGS National Gap Analysis Program (GAP) aggregated the Protected Areas Database of the United States version 1.1 (PAD-US v1.1) with significant contributions from the Bureau of Land Management, The US Forest Service, GreenInfo Network, Applied Geographics and The Nature Conservancy, who provided a spatial dataset of public and private lands and waters secured by a conservation situation that includes an explicit level of security from future conversion and current incompatible uses. These are spatial data from TNC's Conservation Lands System (CLS) database, which is the legal database of record for all TNC land transactions (fee, easement, lease and deed restrictions). GAP seeks to increase the efficiency and accuracy of PAD-US updates by leveraging resources in protected areas data aggregation and maintenance as described in "A Map of the Future", published following the PAD-US Design Project (July, 2009) available from:


  • Upper Colorado River Basin
  • Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative



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