Assessing the Vulnerability of Forests and Farmlands to Development in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

P.R. Claggett and C. Bisland (USA)


Land use, Geographic Information Systems, ChesapeakeBay, urban development


Throughout the United States, rural and exurban forests and farmlands within commuting distance to job centers are at risk of conversion to urban uses. To strategically protect the most valued lands from conversion, methods are needed to measure their relative vulnerability to development. Unfortunately, these areas typically fall within rural jurisdictions that lack the financial resources and data needed to measure vulnerability based on sophisticated models. To circumvent these limitations, this study compares two methods for measuring the vulnerability of lands to development throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed using regionally available census and satellite data.

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