Higher and Farther: Patterns of Development within Protected Areas

Science Center Objects

There is a well-known bias in the location of protected areas both within the US and globally. Lands protected for conservation tend to be located on less productive soils at high elevations far from cities. USGS is exploring whether this ‘high and far’ paradigm applies within protected areas as well. That is, does human modification within lands that already have some degree of protection, also occur preferentially on more productive soils at low elevations close to cities?