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The Florida Natural Areas Inventory provides scientific support to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for Florida Forever, the nation's largest environmental land acquisition program. The Inventory contributes in two key ways: scientific review of newly proposed land acquisition projects, and comprehensive natural resource analysis and scoring of all Florida Forever projects using the Conservation Needs Assessment and F-TRAC.
Staff Scientist Reviews
For every six-month Florida Forever review cycle, FNAI scientists contribute to a multi-phase evaluation process.
First, new applications are reviewed and the Inventory prepares a Preliminary Evaluation Report in advance of the first vote of the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC).
Second, for those proposals voted upon for further evaluation, the Inventory prepares a Resource Planning Boundary, recommending modifications to help ensure protection of the resources associated with the proposed project.
Third, staff scientists conduct field assessments for each proposal. Information from this assessment is incorporated into a multi-agency evaluation report compiled by DEP, Office of Environmental Services. DEP's evaluation report is presented to the ARC prior to the final vote and project ranking for each cycle.
Conservation Needs Assessment and F-TRAC
FNAI has conducted a statewide analysis of natural resource conservation priorities for the Florida Forever program. We created or compiled GIS data layers for rare species habitat, natural communities, ecological greenways, large landscapes, significant surface waters, natural floodplain, functional wetlands, aquifer recharge, coastal resources, cultural resources, and sustainable forestry. This Conservation Needs Assessment establishes baseline protection status for each natural resource, and provides a tool for tracking progress in resource acquisition.
FNAI has also developed the Florida Forever Tool for Efficient Resource Acquisition and Conservation (F-TRAC) to evaluate Florida Forever projects based on multiple resource values. In advance of each ARC project ranking in June and December, FNAI provides a comprehensive report that scores all Florida Forever projects on their values for individual resources and F-TRAC.
Project Comparative Analysis Table - November 2013 (471 KB pdf) Excel Version (176 KB) "Bubble Sheet" Version (360 KB)
This table, formerly known as the "bubble sheet", provides concise summary resource scores for all current and proposed Florida Forever projects. Newly available are sortable Excel worksheets for the supporting data underlying the Comparative Analysis. Resource Evaluation Scoring Worksheets - November 2013 (479 KB)
Natural Resource Acquisition Progress Report - November 2013 (193 KB pdf)
This report tracks acres acquired of each natural resource layer included in the Conservation Needs Assessment, tied directly to measures outlined in the Florida Forever legislation.
First, Conservation Needs Assessment data are the original data layers tied directly to measures outlined in the Florida Forever legislation.
This report provides detailed technical documentation of all Needs Assessment data, and is revised frequently as the data are updated. NOTE: Version 4.0 documentation is in progress and will be available in January 2014.
Conservation Needs Assessment Summary Report - December 2000 (5 MB pdf)
This report summarized the original Conservation Needs Assessment. NOTE: most figures and maps in this report are obsolete.
Second, the Conservation Needs Assessment data layers have been regrouped into more meaningful categories for analysis. These groupings are known as the Decision Support Data. These data are also used to score projects based on Single Resource Evaluations.
This document provides a brief overview of the Decision Support Data layers.
Decision Support Data Documentation - Revised November 2013 (438 KB pdf)
Detailed documentation for the Decision Support Data, including how the original Conservation Needs Assessment layers are grouped into Decision Support Data.
Single Resource Evaluation Documentation - Revised November 2013 (2 MB pdf)
This report documents the methods used to score Florida Forever projects for each (single) resource data layer. These scores are summarized in the Project Evaluation Summary Table (see above).
Third, the Decision Support Data are used in the F-TRAC analysis.
Documentation for the F-TRAC analysis.
Most documents are in PDF format. Get the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Cautionary Note Regarding the Interpretation of F-TRAC Analysis Results