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Volume 29
Number 2
Fall-Winter 2012-2013
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Small photo of a map of the southwestern United States depicting lands in the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS preferred alternative that are potentially viable for utility-scale solar development. Case Study
Resource-conflict analysis: A geospatial approach to assessing energy development threats to landscapes in the Southwest
By Dan McGlothlin, Peter Budde, and Kirk Sherrill
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
Solar energy development in the Southwest
Solar PEIS overview
Scale of potential development on public lands and implications
NPS involvement
Analysis approach and methods
Results of analysis
Lessons learned from case study
Literature cited
About the authors
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Analyzing and mitigating cumulative environmental, social, and economic impacts for the protection of national park resources and values is a difficult task that is made more complex when landscape-scale actions may affect multiple parks and regions. In order for the National Park Service to respond with consistency to these types of situations a bureau-wide methodology needs to be established. Use of available geospatial data and analytic tools to assess potential risks of proposed land use actions external to parks pre­sents a viable approach for stimulating a critical dialogue among NPS resource management specialists and with groups proposing land use actions. The recent process outlined in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States (Solar PEIS) highlighted the benefit of adopting this approach to addressing potential resource conflicts across broad geographic extents (fig. 1). The geospatial resource conflict analysis (RCA) approach we report here engaged multiple levels in the NPS organization and incorporated authoritative resource data sources (see sidebar “Data sources”) in the assessment. Moreover, the experience highlighted the potential for the National Park Service to respond in a way that minimizes park-by-park variability in evaluation of risk and consistently reflects bureau-wide policy and program decisions.

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This page updated:  16 April 2013

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From the Editor
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Masthead Information
Using landscape patterns, climate projections, and species distribution models to map future potential habitats for desert tortoise, Shivwits milk-vetch, and American pika in Zion National Park, Utah
New recreational water testing alternatives
  Resource-conflict analysis: A geospatial approach to assessing energy development threats to landscapes in the Southwest
Sidebar: Data sources
Exploring the fuel efficiency of oversnow vehicles in Yellowstone National Park
Sidebar: Need for special rule to authorize oversnow vehicle use
Enhancing native plant habitat in a restored salt marsh on Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Improving National Park Service partnerships: A gap analysis of external partners
A system-wide assessment of night resources and night recreation in the U.S. national parks: A case for expanded definitions
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