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    Author(s): Jason Geck
    Date: 2007
    Source: In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 19-28
    Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (705 B)

    Description

    As Alaska’s largest land management agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has responsibility for over 87 million acres (35 million ha) of public lands throughout the state. By using datasets and Landsat scenes within a Geographical Information System (GIS), this study prioritizes wilderness protection through the ranking of BLM blocks (contiguous land parcels), in Alaska based on proximity to current ‘development.’ Development is defined as 1,000 m (3,280.8 ft) around towns, active oil and gas leasing, mining claims, infrastructure, dams, and disturbance (visible scars on Landsat scenes). A Development Index (DI) was calculated based on the percentage of developed area and size of each BLM block. Of the BLM blocks evaluated, 36.8 percent have no development within 1,000 m of block boundaries. BLM lands with less than 1 percent development comprise 35.6 percent, while 17.6 percent of BLM lands are between 1 and 10 percent developed. Based on the DI, the highest ranking blocks free of development are the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (DI = 2,517.3), Nulato Hills (DI = 2,377.3), and Ruby (DI = 2,244.3). This study both demonstrates that under these criteria additional BLM lands qualify for potential Wilderness designation and prioritizes these areas for BLM review and Citizen Wilderness Inventories.

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    Citation

    Geck, Jason. 2007. A GIS-based method to evaluate undeveloped BLM lands in Alaska. In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 19-28

    Keywords

    wilderness, biodiversity, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/31002