The paper describes an experiment with the integration of geographic information systems (GIS) into farmland preservation techniques using the data and policies of Hunterdon County, NJ as a case study. The automation process incorporates a variety of factors as criteria for evaluating properties for a purchase of development rights. The spatially explicit criteria include evaluations of the soils, neighboring land uses, proximity to preserved farms, and local communities' commitment to practices contributing to sustaining farming. This automation is particularly notable in that it uses a parcel-based approach at a county-wide scale. This supports both an assessment of individual farms and a broad understanding of policy outcomes and pattern across the entire county. More interesting are the emerging pattern of benefits and barriers in the automation process highlighted by this exploration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law