Natural Infrastructure Data Sources

Geographic data for Arizona's natural infrastructure are available from a number of agencies & institutions throughout Arizona. Here, we summarize the sensitive biological lands & waters and open space layers which comprise natural infrastructure and provide links where you can download data

Natural Infrastructure composite

Natural infrastructure

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We created a statewide map and dataset of Arizona’s natural infrastructure by integrating 12 local, statewide and regional information sources. Arizona’s natural infrastructure includes:

Sensitive biological lands and waters – areas supporting core habitat or providing corridors for wildlife as identified by 5 scientific studies

Open space plans – areas with existing or proposed designation for outdoor recreational use as identified by multiple county & municipal governments and community open space plans.

NOTE: We have prepared a composite dataset for download on this website (right). However, this composite represents areas from only 10 of the 12 source datasets, as we are awaiting permission to include the 2 wildlife linkages datasets. Please see below for information about how to download wildlife linkages and other source data sets.

Sensitive biological lands & waters

Wildlife linkages

Wildlife linkages

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There are 2 important sources of wildlife corridor maps in Arizona:

The Arizona’s Wildlife Linkages Assessment identifies potential wildlife movement corridors across and within large blocks of protected habitat. Corridors were developed by the Arizona Wildlife Linkages Workgroup which is a collaborative effort between 9 public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

The Arizona Missing Linkages project, funded by Arizona Game and Fish Department, developed detailed linkage designs for 16 of the potential linkage zones identified by the Arizona Wildlife Linkages Workgroup. These linkage designs depict more precise locations for wildlife corridors and give specific planning recommendations for each location.

Core habitat

Core habitats

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Ecoregional assessments conducted by TNC in collaboration with public and private agencies identify core habitats for species throughout Arizona. These assessments provide information for 131 priority conservation areas in Arizona which harbor almost 600 species and ecological systems of concern.

Pima County bond lands

Pima Co bond lands

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Important lands prioritized by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and authorized for acquisition by the 2004 Pima County Conservation Bond election.

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Available from Pima County

Priority grasslands

Priority grasslands

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The grassland assessment identifies high-quality native grasslands in Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. This assessment was conducted by TNC, the Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Arizona, and the Arizona State Land Department. For the natural infrastructure composite layer, we excluded priority grasslands from the Apache Highlands ecoregion, which are accounted for in the ecoregional assessment core habitat layer.

Arizona protected areas

Arizona protected areas

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Arizona protected areas are public and private lands and waters that are permanently protected from development and have demonstrated biological or natural resource value.

These include national parks, national monuments and memorials (with natural resource value), national conservation areas, national wildlife refuges, national wild & scenic rivers, areas of critical environmental concern, research natural areas, state habitat areas, state natural areas, state wildlife management areas, state greenways, Pima county conservation lands, private nature reserves and conservation easements.

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Stewardship data can be queried from the Southwest ReGAP geodatabase or the land ownership shapefile available from ALRIS

Open space

Arizona open spaces

Arizona open spaces

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Arizona open spaces are public and private lands and waters that are permanently protected from development and were established for public enjoyment and recreation.

These include national wilderness areas, national recreational areas, state parks, state recreational areas, private parks and preserves (open to the public), and city and county parks and preserves.

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Stewardship data can be queried from the Southwest ReGAP geodatabase or the land ownership shapefile available from ALRIS

County & municipality planned open spaces

County and municipality planned open spaces

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Lands and waters proposed for open space designation by plans adopted by Arizona counties or municipalities.

Map Gallery

Click a map to view it larger. Visit our map gallery to download high-resolution maps.