Areas of Conservation Emphasis (ACE)
What is ACE?
ACE is a CDFW effort to analyze large amounts of map-based data in a targeted, strategic way, and expressed visually, so decisions can be informed around important goals like conservation of biodiversity, habitat connectivity, and climate change resiliency. The ACE maps provide a coarse level view of information for conservation planning purposes, ranging from ecological research and modeling to local land-use planning and conservation decision-making. However, they do not replace the need for site-specific evaluation of biological resources and should not be used for regulatory purposes.
All ACE data layers are limited by the accuracy, scale, extent of coverage, and completeness of the input data at the time they were run. We highly recommend reviewing available metadata and ACE Factsheets (found in the folders below) prior to interpreting these data. The ACE data are dynamic and will be updated periodically as new data warrant. A new and improved version, ACE 3.0, was released in February 2018, and we welcome feedback on this latest version.
The Significant Habitat datasets provide a variety of information on aquatic and terrestrial habitats to help determine the likelihood of the presence of habitat or vegetation that are the focus of state, national, or locally legislated conservation laws, as well as significant habitat areas essential to the survival of specific species of conservation concern. Habitat data are synthesized from information on vegetation and land cover, and species-specific habitat information. The attribute tables in the viewer for the Significant Terrestrial Habitat Summary and Significant Aquatic Habitat Summary provide the number of significant habitats in a hexagon or watershed, respectively, as well as references to the original datasets where each significant habitat element is mapped.
The Significant Habitats datasets are expected to be used along with other ACE datasets to provide a robust assessment of the presence and relative importance of elements important for biodiversity conservation.