Since its founding in 2000, the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) has sought to move toward a more proactive approach to land acquisition based on a long-term, region-wide strategy. With funding from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), LTMCP and its consultant CDM Smith, began the Conservation Legacy program in 2010 to develop planning and technical tools for conserving land in a more strategic manner in the six coastal counties of Mississippi.
In this region, the opportunities for conservation are great, as is the need for environmental protection. To effectively conserve the region’s environment, no one group can work alone. The key was for LTMCP to communicate its vision and technical resources to a wide audience of potential conservation stakeholders and partners.
Using geographical information system (GIS) tools, a map of potential conservation lands was developed. The map identifies and ranks potential lands for conservation, reflecting environmental/ecological value, cultural and historical value, and proximity to development and existing conservation lands, among other factors. All maps are presented in a simple, color-coded format that ranks land according to its priority for conservation. The maps are held in a dynamic database that can be updated as priorities change and additional information is acquired.
Web-based GIS tool – The maps available on this GIS-enabled website allow users to view the maps in a variety of scales and to add and remove layers of information.
Large poster-size maps and smaller page-size maps are available for download below.
Download Smaller scale page-size Maps.
A Conservation Legacy Mapping Methodology report is available as well as a report studying the feasibility of Transfer Development Rights (TDR). This cutting edge tool is not used in Mississippi, and this study was the first comprehensive assessment of TDR feasibility in the region. The report provides background information on how TDR functions; provides case study analyses of other TDR programs; identifies the pros and cons of how a TDR program would work in LTMCP’s area of conservation activity; and provides alternative measures using development rights-based tools. This stand-alone report has fostered communications with state decision makers, serving as a unique and objective piece of background information on the topic.
It is our goal that these tools will help facilitate a conservation partnership of agencies and organizations, utilizing the data to incorporate into their own models, opening communication, and coordinating conservation efforts.