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30x30 Conserved Areas, Terrestrial (2023)

Metadata Updated: March 30, 2024

The Terrestrial 30x30 Conserved Areas map layer was developed by the CA Nature working group, providing a statewide perspective on areas managed for the protection or enhancement of biodiversity. Understanding the spatial distribution and extent of these durably protected and managed areas is a vital aspect of tracking and achieving the “30x30” goal of conserving 30% of California's lands and waters by 2030.Terrestrial and Freshwater Data• The California Protected Areas Database (CPAD), developed and managed by GreenInfo Network, is the most comprehensive collection of data on open space in California. CPAD data consists of Holdings, a single parcel or small group of parcels which comprise the spatial features of CPAD, generally corresponding to ownership boundaries. • The California Conservation Easement Database (CCED), managed by GreenInfo Network, aggregates data on lands with easements. Conservation Easements are legally recorded interests in land in which a landholder sells or relinquishes certain development rights to their land in perpetuity. Easements are often used to ensure that lands remain as open space, either as working farm or ranch lands, or areas for biodiversity protection. Easement restrictions typically remain with the land through changes in ownership. •The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US), hosted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is developed in coordination with multiple federal, state, and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners. PAD-US, through the Gap Analysis Project (GAP), uses a numerical coding system in which GAP codes 1 and 2 correspond to management strategies with explicit emphasis on protection and enhancement of biodiversity. PAD-US is not specifically aligned to parcel boundaries and as such, boundaries represented within it may not align with other data sources. • Numerous datasets representing designated boundaries for entities such as National Parks and Monuments, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Wilderness Areas, and others, were downloaded from publicly available sources, typically hosted by the managing agency.Methodology1.CPAD and  CCED represent the most accurate location and ownership information for parcels in California which contribute to the preservation of open space and cultural and biological resources.2. Superunits are collections of parcels (Holdings) within CPAD which share a name, manager, and access policy. Most Superunits are also managed with a generally consistent strategy for biodiversity conservation. Examples of Superunits include Yosemite National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 3. Some Superunits, such as those owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, or National Park Service , are intersected by one or more designations, each of which may have a distinct management emphasis with regards to biodiversity. Examples of such designations are Wilderness Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, or National Monuments.4. CPAD Superunits and CCED easements were intersected with all designation boundary files to create the operative spatial units for conservation analysis, henceforth 'Conservation Units,' which make up the Terrestrial 30x30 Conserved Areas map layer. Each easement was functionally considered to be a Superunit. 5. Each Conservation Unit was intersected with the PAD-US dataset in order to determine the management emphasis with respect to biodiversity, i.e., the GAP code. Because PAD-US is national in scope and not specifically parcel aligned with California assessors' surveys, a direct spatial extraction of GAP codes from PAD-US would leave tens of thousands of GAP code data slivers within the 30x30 Conserved Areas map. Consequently, a generalizing approach was adopted, such that any Conservation Unit with greater than 80% areal overlap with a single GAP code was uniformly assigned that code. Additionally, the total area of GAP codes 1 and 2 were summed for the remaining uncoded Conservation Units. If this sum was greater than  80% of the unit area, the Conservation Unit was coded as GAP 2. 6.Subsequent  to this stage of analysis, certain Conservation Units remained uncoded, either due to the lack of a single GAP code (or combined GAP codes 1&2) overlapping 80% of the area, or because the area was not sufficiently represented in the PAD-US dataset. 7.These uncoded Conservation Units were then broken down into their constituent, finer resolution Holdings, which were then analyzed according to the above workflow. 8. Areas remaining uncoded following the two-step process of coding at the Superunit and then Holding levels were assigned a GAP code of 4. This is consistent with the definition of GAP Code 4: areas unknown to have a biodiversity management focus.  9. Greater than 90% of all areas in the Terrestrial 30x30 Conserved Areas map layer were GAP coded at the level of CPAD Superunits intersected by designation boundaries, the coarsest land units of analysis. By adopting these coarser analytical units, the Terrestrial 30X30 Conserved Areas map layer avoids hundreds of thousands of spatial slivers that result from intersecting designations with smaller, more numerous parcel records. In most cases, individual parcels reflect the management scenario and GAP status of the umbrella Superunit and other spatially coincident designations.10. PAD-US is a principal data source for understanding the spatial distribution of GAP coded lands, but it is national in scope, and may not always be the most current source of data with respect to California holdings. GreenInfo Network, which develops and maintains the CPAD and CCED datasets, has taken a lead role in establishing communication with land stewards across California in order to make GAP attribution of these lands as current and accurate as possible. The tabular attribution of these datasets is analyzed in addition to PAD-US in order to understand whether a holding may be considered conserved. Tracking Conserved Areas The total acreage of conserved areas will increase as California works towards its 30x30 goal. Some changes will be due to shifts in legal protection designations or management status of specific lands and waters. However, shifts may also result from new data representing improvements in our understanding of existing biodiversity conservation efforts. The California Nature Project is expected to generate a great deal of excitement regarding the state's trajectory towards achieving the 30x30 goal. We also expect it to spark discussion about how to shape that trajectory, and how to strategize and optimize outcomes. We encourage landowners, managers, and stakeholders to investigate how  their lands are represented in the Terrestrial 30X30 Conserved Areas Map Layer. This can be accomplished by using the Conserved Areas Explorer web application, developed by the CA Nature working group. Users can zoom into the locations they understand best and share their expertise with us to improve the data representing the status of conservation efforts at these sites. The Conserved Areas Explorer presents a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our existing data infrastructure and the channels of communication between land stewards and data curators, encouraging the transfer of knowledge and improving the quality of data. CPAD, CCED, and PAD-US are built from the ground up. Data is derived from available parcel information and submissions from those who own and manage the land. So better data starts with you. Do boundary lines require updating? Is the GAP code inconsistent with a  Holding’s conservation status? If land under your care can be better represented in the Terrestrial 30X30 Conserved Areas map layer, please use this link to initiate a review.The results of these reviews will inform updates to the California Protected Areas Database, California Conservation Easement Database, and PAD-US as appropriate for incorporation into future updates to CA Nature and tracking progress to 30x30.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. Non-Federal: This dataset is covered by different Terms of Use than License: No license information was provided.

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Metadata Created Date August 12, 2023
Metadata Updated Date March 30, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from State of California

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 12, 2023
Metadata Updated Date March 30, 2024
Publisher California Natural Resources Agency
Identifier ebd47bea-638f-4ad5-b9a9-5b6ed0175b42
Data First Published 2023-03-11T00:58:52.000Z
Data Last Modified 2023-04-18T22:24:40.008Z
Category Natural Resources
Public Access Level public
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id e1cd1ef9-cc77-49a4-93d5-da8a796d7c14
Harvest Source Id 3ba8a0c1-5dc2-4897-940f-81922d3cf8bc
Harvest Source Title State of California
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 717d527521274b1ed18e0403cacc62d80caf3b681dfd65d9ad310abf64ab2051
Source Schema Version 1.1

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