Ecoregional Assessments for the Pacific Northwest

In a series of ecoregional assessments, we have identified lands & waters critical to the conservation of biodiversity across the Pacific Northwest. Reports, maps, and geographic data are now available for nine coast, mountain, grassland and plateau ecoregions across the Pacific Northwest. These assessments can be used to:

  • prioritize conservation activities
  • understand the regional significance of a local site
  • evaluate & avoid activities that may adversely affect conservation values

Regional Conservation Planning

Along with partners, The Nature Conservancy has completed a series of nine ecoregional assessments that identify core habitats within our natural infrastructure across the Pacific Northwest. These places represent the best remaining areas to conserve over 1,000 natural communities and over 3,000 rare, unique and endemic species.

Geographic data to provide conservation solutions

We have compiled a geographic data set which aggregates the information from 9 ecoregional assessments across the Pacific Northwest region. The data set enables exploration of our northwest landscapes to answer questions such as:

  • Which places are most important to conserve?
  • Who manages our species and habitats?
  • Where are the places that support the most species at risk of extinction?

They can be used with a variety of third-party data sets to evaluate conservation & land management needs and alternative futures that seek to minimize impacts to our natural resources.

Our ecoregional data set for the Pacific Northwest is designed as a personal geodatabase for use with ArcGIS 9.x and Microsoft Access software. It contains geographic features that represent important lands and waters (conservation areas), tables that link these lands to the species and habitats that occur within them (targets), and relationships that allow a user to navigate from conservation areas to targets, and vice-versa.

Broad scientific collaboration

Ecoregional assessments are comprehensive and systematic efforts to identify conservation priorities. The assessments for the Pacific Northwest evaluated over 1 billion acres during an eight-year study period. Collectively, these assessments involved nearly 700 scientists from 125 government agencies, organizations, tribes, universities, and museums.

Many data sets were used to create the ecoregional assessments, including primary data from the scientific literature, new data collected by subject experts, and region-wide data on species and habitats from NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs and the GAP Analysis Program.



Pacific Northwest Ecoregional Portfolios Geodatabase (2007)

This geodatabase include ecoregional assessment portfolios of priority conservation areas for all ecoregions intersecting Washington. This includes terrestrial, freshwater, marine, and integrated portfolios that were developed for each ecoregional assessment.

Download File (20 MB) Ecoregional Conservation Assessment Reports (1999-2004)

Original reports, maps, and appendices summarizing the results of the nine ecoregional conservation assessments completed for the pacific northwest by The Nature Conservancy and partners.