Great Sand Hills photographs
(c) Bonnie Galenzowski
The Conservation Planning Institute     8285 NW Wynoochee Drive     Corvallis, OR 97330 USA
Ken Vance-Borland, Executive Director     Phone: +1 541 231 7949     Email:
kenvb (at)
Great Sand Hills Regional Environmental Study,
Saskatchewan, Canada
The Conservation Planning Institute worked to collect baseline ecological
information needed to fulfill the three tracks of assessment for the GSH study:

  • Special elements - identifying and mapping occurrences of rare
    species, imperiled natural communities, rare or significant abiotic/
    physical features, and other sites of high biodiversity or ecological value

  • Representation Gap Analysis - assessing the extent to which a full
    spectrum of habitat types is represented in protected areas

  • Focal species - developing habitat and population models for wide-
    ranging or fragmentation-sensitive species and others of high
    ecological importance, sensitivity to disturbance of humans, or value as
    ecological indicators

Integration of the three tracks was achieved by the use of the
MARXAN site-
selection algorithm. CPI employed the MARXAN and Vista software to identify
priority areas for conservation.

CPI worked with social scientists and economists to integrate the biophysical,
social, and economic components of the study. The project team worked to  
develop alternative and preferred sustainable scenarios for review and
consideration by the Scientific Advisory Committee.

The report can be read  
Prior to forming the Conservation Planning Institute, board
member George Wuerthner and Executive Director Ken
Vance-Borland contributed to the following studies:
A Biological Conservation Assessment for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
prepared for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition by Conservation Science, Inc.  
The purpose of the study was to identify high-priority sites for biodiversity
protection using a three-track method similar to the approach taken in the GSH

A summary of the study was published as Noss, R.F., C. Carroll, K.
Vance-Borland, and G. Wuerthner.  2002.  A multi-criteria assessment of the
irreplaceability and vulnerability of sites in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  
Conservation Biology 16 (4), 895-908.

The full report is available for download here:
executive summary;  main report;  
megasite descriptions.

An Ecosystem Spatial Analysis for Haida Gwaii, Central Coast, and North
Coast British Columbia
commissioned by the Coast Information Team, a project
established by the Provincial Government of British Columbia, First Nations,
environmental groups, the forest industry, and communities.  The study
integrates analysis of the biological values of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine
ecosystems with the goal of identifying priority areas for biodiversity
conservation.  The final report, submitted in April 2004, can be viewed

A Conservation Assessment and Science-based Plan for the
Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion
prepared for the Siskiyou Regional Education
Project.  This pioneering work was the first to integrate the three approaches to
conservation planning (protection of special elements, representation of all
habitats, and meeting the needs of focal species), which had traditionally been
addressed in isolation.  The systematic evaluation process provides a more
comprehensive set of data on which to base ecosystem management decisions
This study was published as Noss, R.F., J.R. Strittholt, K. Vance-Borland, C.
Carroll, and P. Frost.  1999.  A conservation plan for the Klamath-Siskiyou
 Natural Areas Journal 19:392-411.

You may download a copy  of the report as a
Word document, 15 megabytes, or  
PDF, 20 megabytes.
Aspen near Tincup Creek
photograph (c) George Wuerthner
Yellowstone River, Paradise Valley
(c) George Wuerthner
The Conservation Planning Institute
To protect and restore biological diversity through innovative conservation planning
that is focused on effective implementation.
USDA Agricultural Research Station
"Mapping genetic variation and seed zones for Bromus carinatus in the Blue
Mountains of eastern Oregon, USA" by R.C. Johnson, V.J. Erickson, N.L.
Mandel, J.B. StClair, and K.W. Vance-Borland (2010)
Botany 88:725-736. doi:

Integrated Land-Sea Planning Working Group of the Ecosystem-Based
Management Tools Network. June 2009-April 2010. Ken Vance-Borland

Book Chapter
"Prioritizing Ecosystems, Species, and Sites for Restoration" by Reed Noss,
Scott Nielsen, and Ken Vance-Borland (2009) In A. Moilanen, H. Possingham,
and K. Wilson, eds.,
Spatial Conservation Prioritisation: Quantitative Methods
and Computational tools. Oxford University Press.

Book Review
"Oregon’s big outside" by Ken Vance-Borland (2006) A review of Oregon wild:
endangered forest wilderness
, by A. Kerr. Conservation Biology 20:588-590.
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