The Habitat Tool is a new addition spotted on the Metro site offers a range of maps related to finding Habitat Classifications throughout the Metro Area. Sites can be searched by intersection as well as via interactive mapping. Some info from Metro:
“In December 2004 the Metro Council approved a habitat protection concept that integrates urban development priorities and habitat values (first map). This decision was based on the results of economic, social, environmental and energy impacts analysis. In August 2002, the council approved the habitat inventory with habitat quality rankings (second map).
Metro’s flood, slope, vegetation and forest data, gathered through 2004, were used to develop the habitat inventory and determine habitat values. Metro staff mapped specific landscape features, such as the location of trees, shrubs, wetlands, flood areas and steep slopes, and then applied scientific criteria to identify and rank habitat areas. The data are presented below on aerial photos, taken in 2003, to illustrate the correlation between the data and landscape features.
Streamside habitat areas, floodplains and wetlands are the most valuable, vulnerable and, in some cases, well-protected habitats in Metro’s inventory. To protect water quality and ecological benefits, the council recommends the mandatory use of habitat-friendly development practices in these areas.”
Some examples of the maps below:
Inventory of Regional Significant Habitat
Streams, wetlands, open water
Streams, open water and wetlands provide some of the most valuable habitat for fish and wildlife. Adjacent trees and other vegetation provide cover and nesting or roosting sites as well as migrating pathways for hundreds of species. Adjacent vegetation helps maintain streams and wetlands.
Forest canopy and vegetation
Trees, shrubs and other tall vegetation provide shade that helps keep riparian areas cool and moist. When water gets too warm, salmon and other aquatic species have problems growing and reproducing, and may die. Plants next to streams and wetlands are a source of organic material such as leaves and branches that provide food for fish and wildlife.