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Abstract

One of the most enduring debates in the Adirondacks concerns how much protected land we need in the Park, and the balance of human needs versus environmental protection. Using some newly available resources, we provide information to contribute to the discussion. The recently competed Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Classification System and associated map provides a consistent habitat classification system across the entire northeast (West Virginia to Maine), and a freely available digital map that can be used in GIS analyses. We used this map to examine habitat types and their distribution within the Adirondacks, as well as their relationship to terrestrial Adirondack vertebrate species, especially those that are of conservation concern. To our knowledge, this is the first time such a large number of states and jurisdictions have chosen to create a common language of habitat types, it is the first time we can examine habitats on large states as opposed to and cover, and it is the first time we can visualize these habitats and ask questions about their distributions. We hope it will help to address some of the important questions often raised.

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