Publication Date

8-2008

Committee Chair

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.
Jordan Henk
Kenneth Althiser

Abstract

Situated in Western Riverside County, the Wilson Creek/Sage/Aguanga area is experiencing rapid growth as urban development extends eastward from the communities of Temecula and Murrieta. The Wilson Creek area contains many unique biological resources and the opportunity exists to establish an important natural open space Wildlife corridor between the San Jacinto Mountains and the Agua Tibia Wilderness Area of the Cleveland National Forest. Through conservation endeavors, coupled with the cooperation of environmentally conscientious and responsive developers, the goals for both human population expansion and the protection of threatened and endangered species habitats can be simultaneously accommodated.

Many factors have contributed to the need for a Geographic Information System (GIS) model to identify areas most suited for development and to prioritize others for conservation. This report introduces a methodology based on a series of GIS geoprocessing models that produces both suitability maps for achieving immediate conservation goals to protect threatened and endangered species habitat, and long range objectives of maintaining species population and habitat health through sustainable practices. In addition, geoprocessing models are created to delineate a best use, cost-effective approach to development requirements that both preserve and protect precious biological resources while enhancing the quality of life for humans by incorporating recreational, educational, and aesthetic provisions in identifying more readily developable areas.

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