by Eric Olsen, The Nature Conservancy
New Jersey's Conservation Blueprint is the most comprehensive prioritization mapping project ever undertaken in the state. Starting in 2015, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the GeoLab at Rowan University led a steering committee of 20+ organizations working within the state to create Priority Land Models for each of the Blueprint's four Themes: Water, Ecology, Agriculture and Community Green Space. This session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the successful state-wide multi-stakeholder collaboration between funders, land trusts, state, county and municipal governments. The Blueprint is being used by planners, land conservation professionals, state agencies, environmental commission member and municipal green teams among others to easily access information that is often only available to GIS professionals. The session will highlight and demonstrate how the newly enhanced Blueprint is being used for land protection including farmland preservation, land stewardship and land use planning. In addition to sharing the history of the project, Eric will provide an introduction to the technology and an overview of the priority models. For more information about this project, please visit www.njblueprint.org.
Eric Olsen has worked for The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey since 2006 and currently serves as the Director of the Lands Program. In this role, working with a team of four, he oversees land protection, land management and land policy work for the Chapter. Prior to this position he served as the Delaware River and Bay Whole System Project Director for The Nature Conservancy; coordinating the organization’s work across the four-state Delaware River region. During his tenure with TNC, Eric has been involved with forest and freshwater projects including land protection, stewardship, and restoration projects. Eric received a B.A. in English with a minor in Environmental Studies from Drew University and an A.A in Liberal Arts from Sussex County Community College. He is active in his community, sitting on the Andover Township land use board, environmental commission and founder and chair of Sustainable Andover that achieved Sustainable Jersey certification.