301: Evaluating Land Use Initiatives


Thomas Bartholomew, Bureau of Land Management
Richard Gelb, King County, Washington
Juan Paulo Ramirez, GIS and Human Dimensions, LLC
Alexandra Ritchie, Bureau of Land Management


Evaluating Ecologic, Temporal, Demographic, and Equity Complexities of Land Use and Growth Management Policies in King County, Washington (Richard Gelb, King County, Washington; Juan Paulo Ramirez, GIS and Human Dimensions, LLC)

Access to the aesthetic, health, psychological and economic value of tree canopy and areas of ecologic integrity are typically somewhat unevenly distributed in communities, but land use and growth management policies in King County are not intended to create further disparities in proximities and access to ‘green infrastructure’ over time.  To determine the degree that land use and growth management policies may be exacerbating disparities in access to tree canopy and vegetative biomass, several complex dimensions must be reconciled in the evaluation process – temporal, jurisdictional, ecological, and demographic. To feasibly conduct a multi-dimensional environmental equity evaluation, historical spatial data such as satellite imagery is essential in determining how state, county, and local policies impact the environment and various communities. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) uses red and the near infrared spectral bands of commercial satellite images to estimate green biomass. This presentation demonstrates a framework for analyzing changes in communities’ proximity to green biomass using NDVI, in a context of rapidly changing community demographics, ecologic variability, and complexities in jurisdictional authorities and policy reach.

Evaluation and GIS through Focal Area Management (Alexandra Ritchie, Bureau of Land Management; Thomas Bartholomew, Bureau of Land Management)

Federal agencies and their partners are moving towards focal area management as a means of accomplishing such goals as improving our ecosystems’ adaptability, or locating energy development to generate the most energy with the least impact on the landscape environment.  But what does this mean for budget processes, evaluations, and land use planning?  This session will explore the concept of focal area management, provide two types of visual models (a flow chart and a map) showing how business and scientific data can be integrated for better decision-making and long-term outcomes, and propose a type of evaluation suitable for complex program interventions.

Presentation Materials

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