Online CAP screenshothandbook coverScroll below for links to conservation planning resources, methods and tools developed or used by Applied Conservation. Shown to the right is the Health Summary scorecard from the new Excel Online CAP Workbook, available via link in the section below.


Conservation Planning and CAP

Landscape-Scale Conservation, A Practitioner’s Handbook.  A 57-page how-to handbook (PDF file) on the ingredients of effective landscape-scale conservation action, including the key elements and tools of Conservation Action Planning (CAP).  By Greg Low.

Conservation Action Planning – 2 Page Summary.  Conservation Action Planning (CAP) is a relatively simple, straightforward and proven approach for planning, implementing and measuring success for conservation projects. CAP was developed and refined over 20 years by Greg Low, Dan Salzer and others at The Nature Conservancy, and has been applied at over 1000 conservation projects.

Are We Conserving What We Say We Are?   Seminal article in Bioscience that has provided a foundation for CAP — identifying the key ecological attributes of every focal target, defining what constitutes viable condition, and providing metrics to rate their current condition.

CAP Excel Workbook.  Free software to support and document a good CAP.  Runs off Microsoft Excel but programmed in Visual Basic with tables, forms and “wizards”.  Applied Conservation uses this software instead of Miradi, among other reasons because it better supports and features the viability or health assessment described in the Bioscience article above.

CAP-app Excel WorkbookExcel 2007 or later is required; when prompted, please enable content and macros.  CAP-app is a completely new CAP workbook (click for summary) designed for strategic conservation planning.  Developed by Greg Low, CAP-app has been used with the Tanana Valley Watershed Association and partners to develop a Watershed Resource Action Plan (WRAP) for the Chena River Watershed in Alaska.

  • Shows the current and projected future health (viability) of each target with and without strategic action.
  • Measures target health on a scale of 0 (poor) to 100 (very good), allowing teams to more easily assess condition, compare results, and assess strategic benefits.
  • Provides a simpler and arguably more robust threat ranking approach, based upon projected degradation of Key Ecological Attributes (KEAs).
  • Ranks targets & KEAs most needing attention based on current condition plus future threat.
  • Assesses the return on investment (ROI) of pursuing alternative strategic objectives.

Excel Online CAP Workbook.  An online version of the CAP-app workbook, developed by Greg Low, allows dispersed project teams to work on a CAP.  The online workbook was used to develop a statewide Freshwater Ecosystems CAP for Nevada. The project leader or coach needs Excel 2007 or later on their computer to share the workbook with the project team members and save copies as the CAP is developed.  An easy-to-create, unobtrusive Microsoft OneDrive account is also required for online sharing and editing.  For Instructions click here.

To view the Nevada Freshwater CAP, paste the link below in your browser:!109&authkey=!ACJ5TOMC-D6pUUU&ithint=file%2cxlsx

Landscape Conservation Forecasting

Landscape Forecasting – Journal of Conservation Planning.  Article by Greg Low, Susan Abele and Louis Provencher on “Enhanced Conservation Action Planning” (aka Landscape Conservation Forecasting), featuring case study application working with BLM in the Bodie Hills, California.

Forecasting the Benefits of Conservation Strategies to Land Managers.  Keynote Powerpoint presentation (PDF file) on landscape conservation forecasting applications by Greg Low at June, 2011 ecological modeling conference in Portland, Oregon.

LANDFIRE Ecological Models. The interagency LANDFIRE program developed ecological models to represent pre-settlement conditions for all terrestrial and riparian ecological systems in the United States. Each ecosystem model consists of (1)  a quantitative state-and-transition model and (2) a description document.  Use and adaptation of these models is a key element of Landscape Conservation Forecasting.  Available at no cost from LANDFIRE — select a mapping zone to download model products for the U.S., including model descriptions and ST-Sim model database.

ST-Sim Modeling Software.  A new version of vegetation modeling software that uses the state-and-transition model approach (originally available as VDDT) is available as a free download from ApexRMS.

Conservation Gateway.  Link to Nature Conservancy website which provides varied information and reports on Landscape Conservation Forecasting.