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GAP Background (archived pages)

The Gap Analysis Project in Oregon, OR-GAP, has a long history, as the second program started (after the initial Idaho pilot). Because of this long history, we have developed information which both follows national gap standards, and predates many of them. The first GAP land cover map was developed in 1990 using LANDSAT MSS false-color infrared positive prints. Species distribution maps were developed using species distribution data in EMAP (EPA's environmental monitoring and assessment program) hexagons. This database (species by hexagon) was developed in Oregon by ORBIC with funding from EPA, the Biodiversity Research Consortium and The Nature Conservancy. The first stewardship (ownership) map was drafted by ORBIC, digitized by the Idaho Department of Water Resources and quality controlled by ODFW. Species distributions were generated using the first land cover map, ORBIC hexagon distributions, and a wildlife habitat matrix developed by Blair Csuti and ODFW.

A hexagon map of western snowy plover distribution in Oregon
A hexagon map of western snowy plover distribution

OR-GAP was able to complete a gap analysis looking at historic distributions of Oregon wildlife species. We were able to update a statewide, historic vegetation cover developed by the Oregon Biodiversity Project. This cover allows a comparison of both how well vegetation alliances are protected in the statewide network of conservation lands, as well as how much they have declined over the last 150 years. Combined with excellent historic distribution maps of Oregon's vertebrate wildlife species, we were able to use standard techniques to assess how much habitat each species has lost since the advent of European settlement.

OR-GAP has become a critical part of ORBIC's overall objective to maintain and update all information on Oregon's biodiversity. For this report, final versions of the primary GAP coverages have been developed and used. All of the coverages used for this report are OR-GAP Version 2. ORBIC will continue to update each of these coverages. The ownership and stewardship coverage is continually updated as new areas are protected or designated, or as land ownership patterns change. ONBIC will release an updated ownership and stewardship cover each year. The OR-GAP Land Coverage developed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will not be updated, but ORBIC is working to compile more detailed regional and statewide land use/land cover coverages. Version 2 species distribution coverages are included and analyzed in this report and will not change. But both the wildlife-habitat matrix and species distributions will be continually updated by ORBIC. As a result, we will have the capacity to generate updated species distributions coverages on a local, regional or statewide basis as higher resolution land covers become available.