The eastern secured lands system represents a commitment to nature and to future generations, and an indication of what can be achieved through collective effort. These lands provide the core of efforts to protect the region’s outstanding habitats and threatened species, and are increasingly understood as essential providers of ecosystem services and storehouses of the land’s biological resources. Even as the region’s ecology adjusts in response to a changing climate, the secured lands play a critical role in maintaining arenas for evolution and provide people with the opportunities and rewards stemming from direct contact with the land.
 
The TNC secured land data strive to include all permanently protected lands in the eastern 18 U.S. states and is compiled annually from over sixty sources. For the most part, it is a combination of public land information maintained by each state, and private conservation land information compiled by the Nature Conservancy’s state field offices.  Nature Conservancy staff in each state office compile the dataset for their state, assign the securement status to each tract, and fill out the other standard fields (for example designation, acres, ownership type) . The completed state dataset are then compiled by the regional science office and quality checked for consistency and discrepancies. Each year the data set is posted for public use.  It also contributes to the Protected Areas Database U.S. (PAD US) and National Conservation Easement database to become part of the national datasets of protected lands.

Conservation Status of Fish, Wildlife, and Natural Habitats in the Northeastern Landscape

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have a long history of conservation and collaboration. Because the forests, rivers, and coastline of this region are extensive, but many of the individual states are small, the states have a tradition of working together to understand the broad ecological patterns that cross state lines. Toward this end, in 2008, the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) and its partners developed a multi-state monitoring framework to take stock of the condition and conservation of the species and habitats that characterize the region.

Through the secured lands information, compiling region-wide data, analyzing the underlying patterns, and assessing the many indicators suggested by the framework, the Conservation Status report presents a comprehensive and three dimensional picture of the state of conservation of the natural world in the northeast landscape. Download the full report here.

A summary of the findings is available on the State of Nature page.

 Download the Data