Let’s ring in the new year by looking back at who used the South Atlantic Blueprint in 2019! We’ll get into a few stories in detail, but first, as NPR’s Kai Ryssdal says on Marketplace, “let’s do the numbers.”
So far, over 140 people from 65 different organizations have used, or are in the process of using, the South Atlantic Blueprint—and that’s just the folks we know about! That gives me the tough job of choosing a few highlights, since I can’t squeeze them all into one blog post. I narrowed it down to three.
- Over the last couple of years, the Blueprint has been making a major impact in guiding collaborative conservation in South Carolina. Back in 2018, the South Carolina chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) used the Blueprint as a foundational dataset to update to the SC Conservation Vision, which is their statewide map of conservation priorities. That Conservation Vision helped support the reauthorization of a major state land conservation fund, the SC Conservation Bank. In 2019, this exciting Blueprint use went a step further! The SC Conservation Bank used the Blueprint to inform statewide conservation priority maps that will guide where those funds are spent.
- SC TNC also used the Blueprint to strengthen applications for grants that protected almost 14,000 acres in the largest private easement in the state’s conservation history. The easement connects a conservation corridor that allows wildlife to roam for over 50 miles without ever leaving protected lands. The Blueprint and indicators helped TNC communicate the value and regional importance of the Groton Plantation. TNC secured more than $1.3 million from both the SC Conservation Bank and the first Acres for America grant ever awarded in South Carolina by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In the words of our Blueprint user, David Bishop: “…the SC Conservation Bank called out the application for the Groton project as one of the best they have ever seen, which I think is at least partly the result of your data…I think it is a very valuable service and absolutely helped us get money.” How’s that for a testimonial? You can read more about the easement in TNC’s press release from last August.
- The Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) also included the Blueprint in their “Good Map,” which identifies overlapping priorities for ensuring military readiness, conserving natural and working lands, and sustaining communities. To read more about this Blueprint use, check out the blog SERPPAS coordinator Addie Thornton wrote last April, and the follow-up Rua wrote in May. You can read more about the Good Map and access the data layers on the SERPPAS website.
We’re currently working on a lot of other great stuff, like:
- Using the Blueprint to identify key natural and cultural resource values in the Ocmulgee River corridor in Georgia to inform several ongoing projects
- Helping the NC Wildlife Resources Commission use the Blueprint to develop a more proactive land acquisition strategy
- Supporting Sumter National Forest’s collaborative “Promise of the Piedmont” initiative by using the Blueprint to strengthen their Land Water Conservation Fund proposals
…and so much more!
Does this make you want to use the Blueprint and get in on the fun? I hope so! As always, user support is totally free. Louise and I are here to help you! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.