Regional Conservation Plan for Biodiversity in the San Francisco Bay Area – Upland Habitat Goals

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  Ryan Branciforte
Secondary Authors  Stuart B. Weiss
Affiliations  Bay Area Open Space Council, Creekside Center for Earth Observations
Year  2009
Key Words  Upland Habitat Goals, Conservation Plan, Biodiversity

The San Francisco Bay Area Upland Habitat Goals Project is determining how many acres of what types of terrestrial habitats and in what configuration are necessary to preserve biodiversity in the nine-county Bay Area. Initiated by the Bay Area Open Space Council to address the lack of a scientific vision for biodiversity preservation, the Upland Goals Project will recommend several options for a network of conservation lands identifying core areas, linkages and compatible use lands. The project applies the coarse filter/fine filter approach to conservation planning. The coarse filter analysis sets protection goals for all vegetation types while the fine filter analysis selects specific conservation targets to refine the coarse filter recommendations. The project is using a Marxan modeling base supplemented with expert opinion to arrive at conservation land network options. The final report will not only make recommendations for habitat protection goals, but will also address stewardship, implementation and evaluation criteria. The planning process will create a framework to allow for the goals to be updated as new data becomes available, progress is made in accomplishing the goals or finer-scale planning is desired. The GIS database compiled for the Upland Goals Project is available via the internet.


Ryan Branciforte, Director of Conservation Planning, Bay Area Open Space Council. Ryan Branciforte, managing the conservation planning program, brings 10 years experience in land conservation to the Council. Previously a project manager for GreenInfo Network, lab manager for the Sonoma Ecology Center and science tech for the National Park Service, Ryan holds a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Stuart B. Weiss (PhD, Stanford University 1996), Chief Scientist of the Creekside Center for Earth Observations (, has extensive research experience in conservation and population biology, microclimate and climate change, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, GIS, and statistical analysis. He worked over fifteen years at the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, authored more than 25 scientific publications, and served as principal investigator for more than 50 grants and contracts with government agencies, private industry, and conservation organizations, and practitioners. He and colleagues founded the Creekside Center a decade ago to bring high end scientific analysis to design and implementation of conservation and restoration projects for numerous imperiled species and ecosystems in the Bay Area, western US, and Latin America. He is currently the Science Advisor to the Bay Area Upland Habitat Goals project.

Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: 
1_branciforte_fri session 2.pdf6.13 MB