USGS Protected Areas

Overview

This dataset includes everything from the U.S. Geological Survey's PAD-US project. PAD-US is America’s official national inventory of U.S. terrestrial and marine protected areas that are dedicated to the preservation of biological diversity and to other natural, recreation and cultural uses, managed for these purposes through legal or other effective means. PAD-US also includes the best available aggregation of federal land and marine areas provided directly by managing agencies, coordinated through the Federal Geographic Data Committee Federal Lands Working Group. You can read more about this project here: https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/science-analytics-and-synthesis/gap/science/protected-areas

Attributes

name_standardized

The name of overall protected area following the PAD-US Standard (i.e. full name including the designation type in Proper Case without acronyms, unit identifiers, special characters, space or return errors), complimenting 'local_name_standardized'. As null values are not permitted in this standardized field, categorical assignments are sometimes made from the 'manager_name_standardized' field and an auto-incremented number for each protected area when data gaps occur in source files. This field is in a state of transition at USGS as data-stewards move toward common standards.

string
name_raw

The name of the protected area as provided by the data source; this field is not standardized. This field may or may not include designations, different formats, spelling errors, unit or area identifiers unique to parcels; however, it references source data files directly.

string
protection_mechanism

The general category for the protection mechanism associated with the protected area. 'Fee' simple is the most common way real estate is owned. A conservation 'easement' creates a legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a landowner and government agency or qualified land protection organization (i.e. land trust). 'Other' types of protection include leases, agreements, or deed restrictions. 'Designation' is applied to management boundaries not tied to title documents (e.g. 'National Monument' and 'Wild and Scenic River') overlapping fee ownership parcels. 'Marine' includes outer continental shelf lands managed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Marine Protected Areas. 'Proclamation' defines the outer boundaries of areas without internal ownership defined: Tribal Lands (Census AIA), Military Lands (Department of Defense), Proclamation (National Park Service and Forest Service) and Approved Acquisition Boundaries (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

string
owner_type

The general land owner description (e.g. 'Federal', 'Territorial', 'American Indian Lands', 'State', 'Regional Agency Special District', 'Local Government', 'Non-Governmental Organization', 'Private', 'Joint') standardized for the U.S. See PAD-US Data Manual for the “Agency Name to Agency Type Crosswalk” for full domain descriptions. 'Regional Agency Special Districts' include limited purpose governmental units that exist separately from local governments such as county or municipal. 'Designation' is applied to designations overlapping fee lands as ownership is not applicable. Use the 'manager_type' field for the best general depiction of Federal lands as several ownership related data gaps (i.e. 'owner_type' = 'Unknown') occur in the Federal theme.

string
owner_name_standardized

Land owner or holding agency (e.g. 'Forest Service', 'State Fish and Wildlife', 'City Land', Non-Governmental Organization') standardized for the U.S. See PAD-US Data Manual for full domain descriptions. Please note there are instances where this field returns 'Designation' rather than an 'Agency Name' as expected. 'Designation' is applied to designations overlapping fee as ownership (i.e. the 'Owner Name') is not applicable, while it remains a core attribute. This field also contains unknown values where parcel level ownership data are not yet available from authoritative data sources. Use the 'manager_name' fields for the best depiction of Federal lands by agency as several ownership related data gaps (i.e. 'owner_name_standardized' = 'Unknown') occur in the Federal theme.

string
owner_name_raw

The name of the land owner as provided by the data source, to complement the 'owner_name_standardized' field (e.g. 'State Fish and Wildlife' is a standard 'Owner Name', while 'Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife' reflect source data in the this field) as more detail may be provided. Efforts to complete and standardize this in cooperation with data-stewards are in progress by USGS.

string
manager_type

General land manager description (e.g. 'Federal', 'Territorial', 'American Indian Lands', 'State', 'Regional Agency Special District', 'Local Government', 'Non-Governmental Organization', 'Private', 'Joint') standardized for the U.S. See PAD-US Data Manual for “Agency Name to Agency Type Crosswalk”. Use the this field for the most complete general depiction of Federal lands as ownership related data gaps (i.e. 'Unknown') occur in the Federal theme.

string
manager_name_standardized

Land manager or administrative agency (e.g. 'Forest Service', 'State Fish and Wildlife', 'City Land', Non-Governmental Organization') standardized for the U.S. See PAD-US Data Manual for 'Agency Name' and full domain descriptions. Use this field for the best depiction of Federal lands by agency as the owner_name fields include data gaps (i.e. 'Unknown'), where parcel level ownership data are not yet available from authoritative data sources.

string
manager_name_raw

The name of the land manager as provided by the data source, to complement the 'manager_name_standardized' field (e.g. 'City Land' is an example from 'manager_name_standardized' while 'Agoura Hills, City of' is an example from 'manager_name_raw').

string
designation_type_standardized

The unit's land management description or 'Designation Type', standardized for the U.S. (e.g. 'Area of Critical Environmental Concern', 'Wilderness Area', 'State Park', 'Local Recreation Area', 'Conservation Easement'). See the PAD-US Data Manual for a crosswalk of 'Designation Type' from source data where 'Local Designation Type' may include related designations in various formats (e.g. NWSR, National Recreation River, National Scenic River, Eligible - Recreational, Eligible - Wild, etc.): https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/science-analytics-and-synthesis/gap/pad-us-data-manual#Table9

string
designation_type_raw

The unit's land management description or designation as provided by the data source. This field is not standardized and complements the standardized PAD-US field, as more detail may be available. Null values indicate designation related information was not available in source files and categorical assignments apply. See the PAD-US Data Manual for a crosswalk of 'designation_type_standardized' (e.g. 'State Conservation Area') from source data where 'designation_type_raw' may include various, related designations referenced in source data (e.g. State Natural Area, State Ecological Reserve, State Nature Preserve, State Critical Habitat Area, State Wildlife Management Area, etc.): https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/science-analytics-and-synthesis/gap/pad-us-data-manual#Table9

string
state

Name of the state or territory in which the area is situated. In addition to the standard USPS two-letter state and possession abbreviations (https://pe.usps.com/text/pub28/28apb.htm), this field has some records labelled as 'UNKF', which stands for 'Unknown Federal'. The vast majority of these 'UNKF' records are areas representing the Outer Continental Shelf (see 'designation_type').

string
source_date

This represents the date GIS data was published or obtained (in the case of infrequently updated files) by the data aggregator. If month or day is unknown, they are set to 01.

string
gap_status

The 'GAP Status Code' is a measure of management intent to conserve biodiversity. You can read more about GAP Status Codes here: https://prd-wret.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/assets/palladium/production/atoms/files/GAP%20Status%20Code%20Assignment_2021.pdf

string
iucn_category

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management categories assigned to protected areas for inclusion in the United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) World Database for Protected Areas (WDPA) and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) North American Terrestrial Protected Areas Database. IUCN defines a protected area as, 'A clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values' (includes GAP Status Code 1 and 2 only). You can read more about IUCN categories here: https://www.iucn.org/theme/protected-areas/about/protected-area-categories. In addition, a few areas are included as 'Not Reported'. These areas meet the definition of IUCN protection (i.e. GAP Status Code 1 or 2) but 'IUCN Category' has not yet been assigned and categorical assignment is not appropriate.

string
public_access

Level of 'Public Access' permitted, described as: Open requires no special requirements for public access to the property (may include regular hours of availability); Restricted requires a special permit from the owner for access, a registration permit on public land (e.g. self-permitting Wild and Scenic River, backcountry Wilderness registration) or has highly variable times when open to use (e.g. Wildlife Area with seasonal closures to protect winter range or breeding habitat); Closed occurs where no public access is allowed (e.g. land bank property, special ecological study areas, military bases, many easements, etc.); Unknown is assigned where information is not currently available (assumed Closed).

string
year_established

The Year (yyyy) the protected area was designated, decreed or otherwise established to support trend analyses, as comparisons between PAD-US versions is an inappropriate data use (confounding factors associated with the varied maturity of GIS data systems). The date is assigned to each unit by name and designation type, without event status (e.g. Yellowstone National Park: 1872, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area: 1980). This field is not fully attributed and data gaps are difficult to address.

integer
comments

Comments from either the original data source or aggregator.

string
acreage

Acres calculated for each polygon.

integer
is_open_access

Location requires no special requirements for public access to the property (may include regular hours available).

boolean
easement_holder_type

Easement Holder Type' is the general description (e.g., 'Federal', 'Tribal', 'State', 'Private') of the easement holder, following the PAD-US 'Agency Type' domain codes and descriptions. This is a core attribute in the National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) and is only applicable to features where 'protection_mechanism' = 'Easement'.

string
easement_holder

This field contains the name of the organization managing or holding the easement standardized by NCED to Proper Case with all acronyms spelled out (e.g. The Nature Conservancy [TNC]). This is a core attribute in the National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) provided by the easement holder or data provider and is only applicable to features where 'protection_mechanism' = 'Easement'.

string