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IEDR Ideas Portal

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Categories EIAT
Created by Ian Latimer
Created on Mar 1, 2024

EIAT - Questions/thoughts on 'Land Cover' data

Siting Team has a few thoughts/questions/concerns about the 'Land Cover' data layer:

Utilization of single base layer: While the selected base layer - maintained by the the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium - is useful, it is in effect acting as a proxy layer to capture multiple types of resources, including wetlands, forested areas, shrub and grasslands, barren lands, etc. It is being leaned on as a jack of (many?) all trades, but is ultimately a master of none. A couple thoughts:

  • In the context of agricultural lands, there is adequate coverage in EIAT; this layer delineates between type of ag land cover (e.g. pasture/hay vs. cultivated crops), but is ultimately supplemented by more useful data layers, incl. 'Mineral Soil' and 'Agricultural Districts'.

  • In other key resource contexts, however, the 'Land Cover' data is the only relevant layer, which ultimately means we're lacking important information. Key resource contexts here include wetlands, floodplains, waterbodies, and forested areas, which are not adequately supplemented by other data layers in EIAT.

SOLUTION: If possible, either in lieu of or in addition to the 'Land Cover' data layer, we suggest adding supplemental data layers which more adequately address key resource contexts. Ideas include:

  • US National Wetlands Inventory: federal mapping data which more adequately describes wetlands.

  • Forested Lands: NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) administers the Environmental Resource Mapper, which may be the best resource available at this time for NYS high quality forests and habitats. Recommend consultation with NYSDEC, which the Siting Team is happy to broker.

  • Sensitive Species: Similarly captured in the Environmental Resource Mapper; see above.

  • Floodplain Mapping Program: NYSDEC appears to have supported FEMA in developing floodplain mapping for NYS. Recommend consultation with NYSDEC, Siting Team happy to broker.

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