What comes to mind when you think of a “protected area”? We often think of national parks and nature preserves, but the designation is much broader than that, and not all protected areas are managed in the same way.
This map shows the status of protected areas around the Los Angeles region — i.e., how much protection is given to the biodiversity in the area versus how many restrictions there are on human activities. It is based on the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) national inventory of protected areas, which is part of the Gap Analysis Project (GAP). The different colors indicate different GAP statuses (1-4):
- Managed for biodiversity: disturbance events proceed or are mimicked.
- Managed for biodiversity: disturbance events suppressed.
- Managed for multiple uses: subject to extractive (e.g. mining or logging) or off-highway vehicle (OHV) use.
- No known mandate for protection.
Data sources: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Gap Analysis Project (GAP), 2020, Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) 2.1: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P92QM3NT.