…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24…
“Arizona’s natural infrastructure includes lands and waters that preserve the state’s natural heritage and open space. The Nature Conservancy developed a natural infrastructure dataset by integrating twelve regional studies on wildlife habitat and open space and used the dataset to understand the potential impacts of Arizona’s future growth by 2050.
“Results show that although Arizona’s population is projected to double by 2050, its associated urban footprint may quadruple. If growth follows current projections, Arizona could lose nearly two million acres of natural infrastructure by 2050. This loss of desert, grassland, and forest habitat could jeopardize at least 120 species.
“However, there are 2.7 million acres of undeveloped private and state lands outside of the natural infrastructure and within 30 miles of existing highways. Shifting projected development into these areas would minimize direct impacts to the natural infrastructure.
“Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.”