Vermont Conserved Lands Database

Personnel: Chris Boget, Janet Hurley, Sean MacFaden, Julie Roller, Charles Ferree, Michele Maresca, Kathy Ciarimboli, David Capen

Cooperators: Vermont Land Trust, Agency of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Regional Planning Commissions, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

The Vermont Conserved Lands database is an ongoing project designed to facilitate land conservation planning. The Vermont Conserved Lands Database is a Geographic Information System (GIS) coverage of parcels that are currently protected from future development within the state of Vermont. The CLD is a project of the Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL) at the University of Vermont working in cooperation with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Land Trust , The Nature Conservancy, the Green Mountain National Forest, regional planning commissions, and community land trusts throughout the state.


The database includes land parcels that are expected to remain protected from land conversion or development. With the exception of stated-owned fishing access areas and a few other special designations, the minimum size for inclusion in the CLD is two acres. Protection mechanisms include fee-simple ownership, both public and private; publicly owned easements on private land; and easements of private land held by private conservation organizations. The database now comprises more than 1,150,000 acres, about 20% of the area of Vermont. Information on approximately 1500 conservation projects is included, and there are more than 4554 separate polygons in the GIS database.

Currently, the Conserved Lands Database is divided into three different GIS coverages. The "conspub" coverage includes information about public lands and is publicly available through the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI). "Conspri" complements "conspub" and is distributed to users who agree to certain limitations about its uses and distribution. "Conspro" contains some proprietary information about selected projects, and is distributed only to project cooperators, such as those organizations represented on the steering committee. New information and corrections to existing information are continuously added to the CLD, and new versions of the three coverages are periodically announced.

The Conserved Lands Database was declared "essentially complete" in April 2000. At that time, the three versions of the database were prepared for distribution. "Conspub" was provided to VCGI for public distribution. "Conspri" and "conspro" are kept on a secure server in the SAL and distributed, either by CD or on a public FTP site, to qualified users. The three GIS coverages have become quite popular for conservation planning. Requests for the "conspri" coverage have come from a number of state and federal agencies, town planners, citizen planning groups, watershed associations, and environmental consultants. Regional planning commissions (RPCs) use both coverages routinely.

Newly conserved lands are still being added to the CLD. More than a dozen Nature Conservancy maps have recently been converted to digital files, and a large number of new VLT parcels will soon arrive, already in digital format.

How to Access the Database: To obtain copies of the public section of the Conserved Lands Database download "conspub" from VCGI.

If you are interested in viewing or obtaining copies of the private lands section of the Conserved Lands Database, "conspri", contact David Capen, the director of the Spatial Analysis Lab, at:

       Updated: 1 August 2002