Florida Forever Conservation Needs Assessment

The Florida Natural Areas Inventory has developed several natural resource data layers to inform the Florida Forever land acquisition program. The Conservation Needs Assessment data were developed to track the progress of the Florida Forever program in protecting natural resources through land acquisition. Each data layer corresponds directly to a goal and measure developed for the program by the Florida Forever Advisory Council. The primary use of these data layers is for statistics reported in new Florida Forever proposal assessments and the Natural Resource Acquisition Progress Reports produced by FNAI each year. FNAI has also developed Ranking Support Analyses, which were used for the Single Resource Evaluation and the F-TRAC analysis.

More details on these data are provided in the documentation and metadata included with the data files.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What software do I need to use the data?

The data are distributed as ESRI grid files. You need ESRI ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro with the Spatial Analyst extension to use the data. ArcGIS 10.0 layer files are included with the data. If you only need to view maps of the data layers, these are available in the Technical Report.

Are the data updated regularly?

We are continually re-examining and revising data layers for use in our Florida Forever analyses. The current data layers are from 2015 to 2023. We release a new version of the data approximately once a year. You should always be using the latest version, so check this website regularly for updates.

Do these data represent the Florida Natural Areas Inventory's conservation priorities?

The priorities shown in these data do not necessarily represent FNAI's conservation priorities. We believe the data layers in this Assessment represent the best data currently available, but they are limited to only those issues that are performance measures of the Florida Forever program. The data layers are presented objectively, without recommendations regarding the conservation priorities different resources should have for land acquisition.

Can I use these data for projects not related to Florida Forever?

These data are not intended to be the final authority on the location of natural resources throughout the state. Each data layer was tailored to address a specific Florida Forever measure or analysis need. In most cases, the resources are prioritized based on suitability and need for land acquisition, which may not be the same as overall ecological value. The data may be useful for other conservation planning purposes, but users should gain a thorough understanding of the data by studying all accompanying documentation before proceeding. We encourage you to contact FNAI with any questions regarding applications of these data.

I'm submitting a Florida Forever land acquisition proposal. Can I use these data to support my application?

You may use these data to generate maps and/or statistics about a proposal for the application process. However, FNAI includes this information in official project evaluations for ARC as part of our contract with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Any discrepancies between applicant statistics and those provided by FNAI may confuse the evaluation process. FNAI is not responsible for any information generated by third parties based on these data.

Are the data appropriate for local planning?

Because Florida Forever is a statewide program, we needed to create or compile data sets that are consistent across the state. In many cases there exists local information which may be more detailed or precise than these data. The data are also prioritized from a statewide perspective, and may not reflect local conservation priorities. We always recommend using the best information available, whether based on our data or another source.

Can FNAI do an analysis for me using these data?

FNAI can provide limited reports and information, including these data, as part of our data request services. For more comprehensive analysis tailored to a specific project, clients can develop a contract with FNAI. Contact us for more information.



Table 1. Data Layers and Sources

Rare Species Habitat Conservation PrioritiesFNAI
Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas for Florida Forever (SHCA_FF)Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Ecological GreenwaysUniversity of Florida, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways & Trails
Under-Represented Natural CommunitiesFNAI
Natural FloodplainFNAI, in collaboration with resource experts
Significant Surface WatersFNAI, in collaboration with resource experts
Fragile Coastal ResourcesFNAI, in collaboration with resource experts
Functional WetlandsFNAI, in collaboration with resource experts
High Aquifer RechargeFNAI, in collaboration with resource experts
Sustainable ForestryFNAI, in collaboration with resource experts

All references in this document to Source refer to the data layers and respective sources listed in Table 1.


This data use agreement (Agreement) is between the end user (User) and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), and gives User certain limited rights to use the electronic data and documentation (Data). All rights not specifically granted in this Agreement are reserved to FNAI.

The Florida Natural Areas Inventory plans to update these data layers on a regular basis as an ongoing part of FNAI's role in the Florida Forever program. Users are encouraged to obtain updates to these Data as they become available.

CURRENT COVERAGE: Version 5 - June 2023

Reservation of Ownership and Grant of License: The Data provided by FNAI represent the intellectual property of the sources listed in Table 1. FNAI retains exclusive rights, title, and ownership of the copy of the Data licensed under this Agreement and, hereby, grants to User a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable license to use the Data on the terms and conditions of this agreement. From the date of receipt, User agrees to use reasonable effort to protect the Data from unauthorized use, reproduction, distribution, or publication. In addition, User agrees to refer closely to the Florida Forever Conservation Needs Assessment Summary and Technical Reports, provided with the Data, for guidance in use and interpretation of the Data.

Permitted Uses:

  1. User may produce maps, tables, and/or reports, using all or portions of the Data provided. All or portions of the Data may be merged directly into reports produced by the User. The appropriate Sources, as listed in Table 1, must be cited as the source of the Data in all products, publications, or presentations containing all or portions of the Data.
  2. User may use all or portions of this Data, alone or together with other data, to perform original analysis. Users are strongly encouraged to collaborate with FNAI on all analyses to ensure full understanding of appropriate use of the Data. Any products, publications, or presentations based on such analysis must cite the appropriate Source, as listed in Table 1, for original data used in the analysis.

Uses Not Permitted:

  1. User shall not sublicense, sell, rent, lease, loan, transfer, assign, or provide access to electronic versions of these Data, in whole or in part, to unlicensed third parties, including clients or contractors. Printed versions of all or portions of these Data may only be provided to clients as part of a larger service which is contracted by the client.
  2. The original Source, as listed in Table 1, must not be cited as the source of any interpretations or analyses performed on these Data by the User. The User is solely responsible for any interpretation or manipulation of the Data.
  3. These Data shall not be used as the primary criteria for regulatory permitting decisions.
  4. User shall not use all or portions of these Data, in electronic, print, or other medium, to create products for distribution and sale that rely principally upon these Data.
  5. User shall not alter any substantive feature or characteristic of these Data. Alterations for aesthetic purposes, such as changes to the style and/or color of markers, polygon shadings, or fonts, are permitted.

Liability: FNAI shall not be held liable for the accuracy and completeness of these Data, nor opinions, interpretations, or conclusions drawn from these Data. FNAI is not inviting reliance on these Data. The User acknowledges that the Data may contain some nonconformities, defects, errors, and/or omissions. FNAI does not warrant that the Data will meet User's needs or expectations, or that all nonconformities can or will be corrected. These Data should not be regarded as a final statement on the natural resources of any given location, nor should these Data be substituted for on-site surveys.

Waivers: No failure or delay by FNAI in enforcing any right under this Agreement shall be construed as a waiver of any future or other exercise of such right by FNAI.

Entire Agreement: The parties agree that this constitutes the sole and entire agreement of the parties as to the matter set forth herein and supersedes any previous agreements, understanding, and arrangements between the parties relating hereto and is effective, valid, and binding upon the parties.

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