CAPS: Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System



This page contains links to final reports from selected CAPS applications.

Losing Ground Report -- This document (pdf) is the final Losing Ground publication (May 2009) of Mass Audubon that contains a chapter describing the CAPS analysis for Massachusetts. The purpose of this analysis was to assess the change in ecological integrity between 1971-2005; specifically, quantify the indirect impacts of development beyond its direct footprint. A more detailed technical document is also available that describes the CAPS analysis in more detail and many of the assumptions behind this particular analysis.

Highlands Report -- This document (pdf) is the final technical report (July 2005) describing the CAPS analysis for the Highlands Region in western Massachusetts. The overall purpose of this project was to generate credible, reproducible, quantitative output (i.e., maps and spreadsheets) on the ecological integrity and biodiversity value of lands within the Highlands focus area that can be integrated into the strategic planning and conservation strategies for the towns and the region. This project was implemented in two phases. Phase 1 (this report) involves the ecological assessment; i.e., the CAPS analysis itself. Phase 2 (ongoing) involves working with UMass Extension and the Highlands Community Initiative to use this and other information to actually prioritize sites for conservation. The CAPS maps and GIS for towns in the Highlands and Housatonic regions are available from the CAPS data webpage. The GIS data referenced in the Highlands report (Appendix D, CD data) is included in the following zip file [click here to download data](note: this is a very large file containing many Arc grids and the use of this database requires GIS expertise). The full GIS data set (Appendix D, DVD data) is available from the authors.

Connecticut Route 11 Report -- This document (pdf) is the final technical report (December 2004) describing the CAPS analysis for the proposed Route 11 extension in southeastern Connecticut. The goal of this project was to use the distances and distance/impact relationships already built into CAPS as an independent and objective method to evaluate the indirect impacts of the proposed Route 11 highway project on habitat and biodiversity value for aquatic and wetland communities within the context of other development in the area, and provide a basis for evaluating alignment alternatives and decisions on appropriate compensation for impacts.

Aqualand: The Massachusetts Aquatic Landscape Characterization Tool -- This document (pdf) is the final technical report (May 2003) describing Aqualand (completed January 2003), a program developed by the Landscape Ecology Lab at the University of Massachusetts, Department of Environmental Conservation Amherst, MA in cooperation with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program. The software analyzes and characterizes the contribution of upstream aquatic and terrestrial systems to aquatic habitats - "aquatic cores" - delineated by NHESP biologists.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655

Copyright 2000 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003. (413) 545-0111. This is an official page of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. All material in this website is made available according to the Fair Use Statute of the U.S. Copyright Act