Prioritizing Lands to Protect Our Waters: a Strategic Approach with Virginia ConservationVision

Track 1A: Using Models for Watershed Management
Thursday, October 12, 2017, 12:40 pm – 1:50 pm

Kirsten Hazler
Landscape Ecologist
Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation

Virginia ConservationVision is a suite of models and maps for guiding strategic conservation decisions at the landscape scale. The ConservationVision Watershed Model is intended to establish geographic priorities for maintaining or improving water quality and watershed integrity. Different priorities for conservation, restoration, or stormwater management are set depending on land cover type. The model incorporates topographic and edaphic characteristics, position in the landscape relative to hydrological features and drinking water sources, and subwatershed integrity based on landscape composition, aquatic species assemblages, and estimated pollution loads. In combination with the ConservationVision Development Vulnerability Model and other data sources, the Watershed Model can be used to help decide how to best allocate limited funds for land conservation, restoration, and management.