New Mexico/PAD-US

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Protected Area Database - New Mexico

This page was generated on Dec 01, 2020 and manually copied to this page on Dec 01, 2020; latest version at

This analysis was generated by the OPUSInspect script, created by Brian Sperlongano. The purpose of this analysis is to identify the IUCN Protection Category that should be tagged using the protect_class=* key for protected areas in each state in the United States. In addition, this script locates protected areas that are already tagged in OpenStreetMap and matches them by name with PAD-US in order to identify areas which may be incorrectly tagged with protect_class=*.

Protected areas that are not assigned an IUCN Category should still be tagged leisure=nature_reserve (which renders in Carto), but omit protect_class=*. Be aware that minor differences in naming or spelling may cause false positives or negatives; mappers should examine this table carefully.

Additionally, mappers should consult the PAD-US map-based viewer when making a determination:

The PAD-US Data Source

As a work of the United States Federal Government, the PAD-US database is in the Public Domain and is suitable as a data source for OpenStreetMap. PAD-US is an aggregation over over 100 other data sources. Mappers should inspect PAD-US for accuracy and assume that there may be errors.

Note that:

  • Areas listed as "Not Reported" meet the definition of IUCN protection, but have not yet been assigned a category, and thus tagging with a category is not appropriate.
  • Areas should not be tagged with protect_class=* if their IUCN category cannot be determined. Instead, these areas should simply be tagged with leisure=nature_reserve, which will render in OSM Carto.
  • In some cases, more than one IUCN category is tagged. In these cases, PAD-US indicates that internal portions of the named protected area are assigned different IUCN categories.

This script output is a work in progress and may not be reliable.

IUCN Categorized Protected Areas in New Mexico
Area IUCN Category[1] Ownership Type Owner Operator
(unnamed) This area is tagged with protect_class=*, but the PAD-US database reports that there is no protected area with this name in New Mexico that has an assigned IUCN category. This may be the result of naming variations and/or spelling differences. Example Example Example
Aden Lava Flow Wilderness Example Example Example Example
Example Example Example Example Example


  1. The general land owner description (e.g. 'Federal', 'Territorial', 'American Indian Lands', 'State', 'Regional Agency Special District', 'Local Government', 'Non-Governmental Organization', 'Private', 'Joint') standardized for the U.S. See PAD-US Data Manual for the "Agency Name to Agency Type Crosswalk" or geodatabase look up table for full domain descriptions. 'Regional Agency Special Districts' include limited purpose governmental units that exist separately from local governments such as county or municipal. 'Designation' is applied to designations overlapping fee lands as ownership is not applicable. Use the 'Manager Type' field for the best general depiction of Federal lands as several ownership related data gaps (i.e. 'Owner Type' = 'Unknown') occur in the Federal theme
  • Level of 'Public Access' permitted, described as:
    Open requires no special requirements for public access to the property (may include regular hours of availability);
    Restricted requires a special permit from the owner for access, a registration permit on public land (e.g. self-permitting Wild and Scenic River, backcountry Wilderness registration) or has highly variable times when open to use (e.g. Wildlife Area with seasonal closures to protect winter range or breeding habitat);
  • Closed occurs where no public access is allowed (e.g. land bank property, special ecological study areas, military bases, many easements, etc.);
  • Unknown is assigned where information is not currently available.
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management categories assigned to protected areas for inclusion in the United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) World Database for Protected Areas (WDPA) and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) North American Terrestrial Protected Areas Database. IUCN defines a protected area as, "A clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values" (includes GAP Status Code 1 and 2 only). Categorization follows as:
  • IUCN Category Ia - Strict Nature Reserves are strictly protected areas set aside to protect biodiversity and possibly geological or geomorphological features, where human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited to ensure preservation of the conservation values. Such protected areas can serve as indispensable reference areas for scientific research and monitoring;
  • IUCN Category Ib - Wilderness Areas protected areas are usually large unmodified or slightly modified areas, retaining their natural character and influence, without permanent or significant human habitation, which are protected and managed to preserve their natural condition;
  • IUCN Category II - National Park protected areas are large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological processes, along with the complement of species and ecosystems characteristic of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities;
  • IUCN Category III - Natural Monument or Feature protected areas are set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a landform, seamount, submarine caverns, geological features such as caves, or even a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small protected areas and often have high visitor value;
  • IUCN Category IV - Habitat and (or) species management protected areas aim to protect particular species or habitats and management reflects this priority. Many category IV protected areas will need regular, active interventions to address the requirements of particular species or to maintain habitats, but this is not a requirement of this category;
  • IUCN Category V Protected landscape and (or) seascape protected areas occur where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant ecological, biological, cultural, and scenic value;
  • IUCN Category VI - Protected area with sustainable use (community based, non-industrial) of natural resources are generally large, with much of the area in a more-or-less natural condition and whereas a proportion is under sustainable natural resource management and where such exploitation is seen as one of the main aims of the area.
  • Other Conservation Areas are not recognized by IUCN at this time; however, they will be evaluated to determine if they meet the definition of Other Effective Area Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) for inclusion in the WDPA following recently released guidance. These areas (GAP Status Code 3 areas only) are attributed in the 'IUCN Category' Domain along with 'Unassigned' areas (GAP Status Code 4).
  • In addition, a few areas are included as 'Not Reported', these areas meet the definition of IUCN protection (i.e. GAP Status Code 1 or 2) but 'IUCN Category' has not yet been assigned and categorical assignment is not appropriate. See the PAD-US Data Manual for a summary of methods.