Spring NEARC 2019 has ended
Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Spring NEARC Conference! For tips on how to navigate this site, visit the "Helpful Info" section. To return to the NEARC website, go to: www.northeastarc.org/spring-nearc.html.

The schedule is subject to change (as of May 13, 2019). Please check back for updates.

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Concurrent Sessions [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 14


PRESENTATION: GIS Software for Mapping Tranquility in UK Protected Areas
AUTHORS: Christopher Brehme*, Keene State College; JC Woodward, Keene State College

ABSTRACT: The United Kingdom mandates the protection of tranquil spaces in its National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This mandate ensures that these places offer benefits for human health and well being, in addition to environmental protection. To support park planners, we collaborated with colleagues in the UK to develop a GIS tool known as BETER (Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity, Easier and Refined). Written in Python, BETER is a software extension to Esri ArcGIS that automatically prepares and combines more than 25 distinct GIS layers to identify areas with the lowest sound and visual interference. Many of the processes involve viewshed and soundshed analysis using fine-scale digital elevation models, which can be computationally intensive. However, the program is divided in two parts: Assembler and MapMaker. Assembler can be run just once to create the output layers required by MapMaker. This user-friendly tool allows even novice GIS users to produce maps based on self-selected weights, in order to highlight areas most at risk to visual and audio intrusions.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 1:45pm - 2:15pm


PRESENTATION: Using GIS to identify conservation hotspots: Combining regional data with local values
AUTHORS: Marcia Moreno-Baez, Strafford Regional Planning Commission; Kyle Pimental, Strafford Regional Planning Commission; John Wallace, Conservation Commission Town of Barrington, NH; Charlie Briggs, Conservation Commission Town of Barrington, NH; Anne Melvin, Conservation Commission Town of Barrington, NH

ABSTRACT: New Hampshire cities and towns are regularly challenged with balancing economic development opportunities with land protection efforts and sustainability goals. Our region in southeastern NH, is a great example where many municipalities take great pride in their sense of place and rely heavily on natural resources for recreation, tourism, and quality of life. One of the tools that provides the basis for local land conservation planning is a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI), which identifies existing natural resource and their geographic distribution; however, they do not always support the arguments needed to encourage investment decisions made by governing bodies. In order to overcome these limitations, we integrated a participatory spatial planning process to value our natural resources and conservation priorities. We defined a list of eight natural resources criteria important for conservation and they were weighted based on input from members of the Barrington's conservation commission to generate a hotspot map for conservation values. The analysis was performed for the entire southeastern region using model builder in ArcGIS ESRI 10.5. These hotspots represent the richest and most important ecosystems based on local values. This effort can be replicated in other regions where communities and planners can integrate the local values for conservation and use the spatial query and mapping functions of GIS to analyze the existing situation in the town or city. Hotspots for conservation can help prioritize conservation investment and inform local land use planning efforts to protect ecosystem services and support economic development and conservation efforts.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 2:15pm - 2:45pm


PRESENTATION: Quabbin to Cardigan Regional Conservation Plan Update
AUTHORS: Rick Brackett*, The Monadnock Conservancy_x000D_; Brian Hotz, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests_x000D_; Dan Sundquist, GreenFire GIS_x000D_; Pete Steckler, NH Chapter of The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: The Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership (Q2C) was convened by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests (Forest Society) in 2004 to focus regional conservation strategies in western New Hampshire and north-central Massachusetts. Originally comprised of 27 agency and organizational stakeholders, the group worked together to generate a plan for strategic conservation stretching from the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts to Mt. Cardigan in New Hampshire. The Q2C was the first bi-state strategic conservation plan in New England at the time. The strategic conservation plan was released in 2006, with discrete conservation focus areas (CFAs) that reflect the highest priorities for conservation within the Q2C interest area. While this plan served the Q2C partnership well in the intervening years, some of the data used in the planning process is now out-of-date, and important new data on climate change resilience and connectivity has recently become available. Therefore, the Forest Society and other key partners initiated an effort to update the Q2C strategic conservation plan. The group decided on a range of natural resources for inclusion in a GIS co-occurrence map produced to identify locations where multiple resource features are co-located. The data from the co-occurrence map is analyzed in GIS to delineate CFAs. How these CFAs work to provide habitat connectivity is a newer branch of conservation planning science. With new data released by The Nature Conservancy in 2016 on climate change resilience and connectivity, the update of the Q2C conservation plan is at the cutting edge of conservation science and planning.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 2:45pm - 3:15pm