Though Oklahoma public lands account for less than 5% of the state’s total land area, there are many disparate governmental agencies, NGOs, and private land owners tasked with managing these and other protected areas in the state. Collating this information into a single database has proven an arduous task, with the last statewide protected areas database (PAD) developed in 2001 and updated in 2006. In order to address these issues, the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory (ONHI) created a new protected areas database for the state based on the 2001 and 2006 database, the current nationwide protected areas database (PAD-US), and newly acquired data from a variety of sources. The new database reflects changes in boundaries and ownership since the last database was completed and incorporates additional protected areas not included in the previous releases. The preliminary database consists of 9,112,667 acres of protected areas collated from 37 sources (local owners).
A protected areas database serves as an important foundation for conservation and management of biological diversity. Such a database collates information from national, state, tribal, and local governments, non-government agencies, academic institutions, and private land owners to identify areas managed for the purpose of the preservation of biological diversity. Additionally, by delineating managed areas, it also helps identify gaps in the protection of target species and ecological communities.
In October 2012, ONHI was awarded a grant from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Gap Analysis Program (GAP) to update the Oklahoma portion of the Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US). Since, ONHI has been compiling new and updated protected areas data from multiple sources for incorporation into PAD-US. As such, the new protected areas database uses the same schema as the national database. A preliminary version of Oklahoma’s updates to the database is now available for public review. We cordially invite any interested party to review our product and to comment on any errors or omissions. Please send all comments to Todd Fagin.
This is a preliminary version of the Protected Areas of Oklahoma database (PAD-OK). It is being released for public review and comment purposes only and should not be used for analytical purposes. The user acknowledges that these data may contain nonconformities, defects, and errors. PAD-OK is an aggregated dataset, incorporating data as provided by land owners, administrators, or best available sources. Inconsistencies in data quality and scale may be present. Because of possible data inconsistencies, PAD-OK is best for landscape level analysis (1:100,000 or greater). Additionally, all protected area boundaries are approximations and should not be viewed as legal boundaries for regulation or acquisition purposes. The Protected Areas of Oklahoma database is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.
ONHI anticipates release of the final database in October or November 2013. Data will be provided via the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, as well as through the PAD-US website and other data clearinghouses.