Monday, January 14, 2019

Mapping America's Protected Land

Around 14% of land in the United States is protected. This includes more than three billion acres of land managed by nearly 15,100 agencies and nongovernmental organizations, consisting of 200,000 separate parks and protected areas.

The Protected Lands Database of the U.S. (PAD-US) records all land areas which are held in public trust in the United States. This includes public lands managed by government agencies, preserves owned by nonprofits or private lands protected by conservation easement. This database of protected land is maintained and published by the U.S. Geological Survey. has used the PAD-US to create an interactive map of America's public land. On the map protected land is color-coded by management type. Federal protected land makes up the majority of protected land in the USA. However the map also shows protected land which is managed by the state or local government, native Americans, and non-government agencies. If you click on an area of protected land on the map you can view its name, designation and size in acres. also allows you to generate reports at the state, county or city level. For example, if you select a state on the map you can view a report showing the size of the state, the size of all protected lands and what percentage of the state is protected. The report outlines the number of acres of each management type of protected land in the state and the percentages of each type.

The USGS's own interactive map the Protected Areas Viewer also allows you to explore protected lands in the USA.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An excellent US data source for conservation lands in the state of Illinois can be found at