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Harvard Forest Data Archive


Natural Land Zones in New England in 2006 from 2010 Wildlands and Woodlands Report

Related Publications


  • hf359-01: Natural Land Zones GIS layers


  • Lead: Brian Donahue, Brian Hall
  • Investigators: David Foster
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 2006
  • End date: 2006
  • Status: completed
  • Location: New England
  • Latitude: +41.00 to +47.47
  • Longitude: -73.70 to -67.00
  • Elevation: 0 to 1917 meter
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2021
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.359.3
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: historical
  • Research topic: conservation and management
  • LTER core area: disturbance
  • Keywords: conservation, geographic information systems, land cover, land use, management, spatial vector
  • Abstract:

    This GIS dataset shows different Wildland and Woodland zones in New England and is intended to illustrate how the percentage of protected land could vary between New England landscapes while achieving the total acreage goals as expressed in the Wildlands and Woodlands 2010 Report. This is layer is intended to be conceptual and not prescriptive.

    The zones were created by expressing the percent natural landcover for a given 500m pixel using a 25 x 25-cell neighborhood. The landuse categories considered to be natural and the breakpoints for each zone are given in the Methods section of this document.

    The data are provided in vector format as an ESRI shapefile. The projection is NAD 1983 Albers.

    The Wildlands and Woodlands webpage,, includes a downloadable high-resolution copy of the report and an extensive set of resources that complement and support the arguments and facts presented in it. These include citations, metadata, and downloadable high-quality images of all the graphs and maps. The website will be updated to provide further information on many of the findings, activities, and recommendations provided in the report.

    Wildlands and Woodlands Report:

    Foster, D. R., Lambert, K. F., Kittredge, D. B., Donahue, B. M, Hart, C. M., Labich, W. G., Meyer, S., Thompson, J. , Buchanan, M., Levitt, J. N., Pershel, R., Ross, K., Elkins, G., Daigle, C., Hall, B., Faison, E. K., D'Amato, A. W., Forman, R. T. T., Del Tredici, P., Irland, L. C., Colburn, B. A., Orwig, D. A., Aber, J. D., Berger, A., Driscoll, C. T., Keeton, W. S., Lilieholm, R. J., Pederson, N., Ellison, A. M., Hunter, M. L., Fahey, T. J. 2017. Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities: Broadening the Vision for New England.

  • Methods:

    The 2006 National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) GIS layer was reclassified to assign all “natural land” types a value of 1 and other lands were given a value of zero. Natural lands included NLCD codes: 11-open water, 31-barren land, 41-deciduous forest, 42- evergreen forest, 43-mixed forest, 51-shrubland, 52-scrub/shrub, 71-grassland/herbaceous, 90- woody wetlands, 94-estuarine wetlands, and 95-herbaceous wetlands. The NLCD can be downloaded at: A lower-resolution layer was created by resampling the original 30m cells to 500m resolution. Each 500m cell was given the sum of all neighbors in a 25x25 cell neighborhood using the Focal Statistics tool in ArcGIS. This sum is the number of cells in the neighborhood that are natural land. This value was then divided by the number of cells in the neighborhood yielding the percent natural land around that cell. The cells were given a subjective landscape type based on the percentage of natural land as follows: 1. Urban – 0-25% natural, 2. Suburban – 26-50% natural, 3. Rural – 51-75% natural, 4. Connected – 76-90% natural, and 5. Continuous – 91-100% natural. The raster was then converted to a polygon layer based on the landscape type code for cartographic purposes.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Donahue B, Hall B. 2021. Natural Land Zones in New England in 2006 from 2010 Wildlands and Woodlands Report. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF359 (v.3). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

hf359-01: Natural Land Zones GIS layers

  • Compression: zip
  • Format: Esri shapefile
  • Type: vector GIS