Richard Schuster

Carleton University
Conservation planning can be challenging because researchers, managers, and stakeholders must consider a range of different objectives and constraints, and require analytical tools tailored to specific tasks. We developed the R software package prioritzr, a flexible interface for solving conservation planning problems. To make it more user-friendly, we also developed a stand-alone application and browser interface enabling users to interactively build and customize conservation planning problems, without needing knowledge of R programming. Together, these spatial planning tools help democratize the conservation planning processes: our goal is for a novice stakeholder to devise a high-quality, data-driven spatial plan in just one hour. We use the Coastal Douglas-fir region of BC as a case study to demonstrate the power of this new tool at different spatial scales, illustrating how non-technical users can generate conservation planning scenarios that meet their needs and help in the decision-making process from initial scoping to protected area placement.