Welcome to the New York Protected Areas Database (NYPAD)


NYPAD is a spatial database of lands protected, designated, or functioning as open space, natural areas, conservation lands, or recreational areas. These lands cover over six million acres, approximately 20% of New York State. While the database has ‘Protected’ in its name, we use that term broadly. Lands in NYPAD may be public or private, open or closed to public use, permanently protected from development or subject to future changes in management.

The data in NYPAD can be viewed in the interactive map, or downloaded for use with a GIS or other mapping application. Full attribute information about each area is available only in the downloaded data.

NYPAD is an ever-evolving database. Early versions will include publicly owned lands open to the public, such as municipal parks and playgrounds; State Forests, Forest Preserve lands, Wildlife Management Areas, and State Parks; and National Recreation Areas, National Seashores, and National Forests. Preserves of The Nature Conservancy will also be in early versions of NYPAD. Later versions will add lands owned or under conservation easement by land trusts and other private organizations, lands under conservation easement by New York State, forest lands registered under New York State’s 480-a program, and more.

Data on protected areas have been collected from state, federal, and local governments; private conservation organizations and land trusts; and colleges and universities. Efforts to identify other sources of protected area data, and to obtain the data and incorporate it into NYPAD’s geodatabase, are ongoing. Maintenance of the data is also ongoing; updates will be made as new parcels are protected and as more accurate spatial data becomes available.

NYPAD is a project of the New York Natural Heritage Program, a partnership between the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Collaborators include New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and The Nature Conservancy.

New York Protected Areas Map:

This map shows the current extent of protected lands in New york State. The data have been collected from many sources including state, federal and local governments, as well as organizations who are actively engaged in the protection and study of conservation lands such as land trusts, educational institutes and The Nature Conservancy. Further work needs to be conducted to identify all available sources of conservation lands data, obtain the data and incorporate it into a standardized geodatabase. Maintenance of the database will be an ongoing effort, and updates will be made as new parcels are protected or as more accurate spatial data comes available. Efforts will also be made to update the database to include lands protected through means other than fee ownership, such as easements and management agreements.