Chapter VIII
Concluding Remarks
    In this thesis three principal areas were examined in the creation of  the QHSP GIS;  A) data acquisition and conversion; B) interpretation and display of data layers;  and C) manipulation and query  of  data to identify management options involving animal and plant species using the Habitat Acquisition Model (HAM).
    A GIS for a park can be assembled by accumulation of data in several formats.   In this thesis the conversion of data required significant costs, time, and expertise.  In larger applications of  GIS within government agencies and private corporations these costs can increase dramatically.  Digital data sources such as the  Ohio Department of Natural Resources ERDAS imagery, Natural Heritage data, and USGS DLG  data were shown to be reliable sources.  The USGS DEM data were too coarse and they had flaws that made them useless for the study area.  There were questions as to the accuracy of agricultural and land value data obtained from Stark and Portage county governments.
    With the use of overlay techniques and query analyses, decision criteria and alternatives can be displayed graphically for park managers.  These graphic representations of real-world scenarios based on  environmental and wildlife considerations can be a useful and valuable tool in the planning process.  Identifying Sharp-shinned hawk habitat and Spiral Pondweed location are just two of many applications utilizing the QHSP Habitat Acquisition Model.  The habitats identified using spatial overlay techniques suggests areas that may require  special management and/or acquisition or preservation.
    Acquiring new acreage to expand park boundaries involves delicate negotiations with private land owners.  Maps can be a useful tool in these negotiations.  The maps produced in this thesis provide  information  visualized in a real-world geographic perspective.  ARCVIEW GIS software is extremely efficient in transferring map queries to map products.
    This thesis applied the identification of habitats and acquisition scenarios to the relatively small reserve of  Quail Hollow State Park.  Expanding this application to all  nature reserves in Ohio would provide a state-wide  model for habitat planning and acquisition strategies.
    This thesis can be used as a guide for  planners and managers of nature reserves  to become more familiar with the functions and capabilities of GIS.  The research does not imply that Quail Hollow State Park should have its own specialized GIS.  Data used in this thesis are available from the ODNR and can  be used in coordinated efforts with the GIS departments within  ODNR.
    Software such as ARC/INFO and ARCVIEW were shown to be very efficient for use in data conversion,  manipulation, display, and query of the data in this study.  Other software companies such as ERDAS, Intergraph, and Mapinfo, also produce GIS software that may  produce similar results.   Whatever software is used, it remains critical to have  trained and experienced personnel who are knowledgeable of  data conversion techniques and GIS  spatial analytical concepts.
GIS will likely increase in use for  numerous applications in park management,  landscape ecology, natural resources, wildlife biology, geology and hydrology.  The functionality of  GIS as a tool applied with sound geographic principles will hopefully lead to  increased interest and knowledge within these and other scientific disciplines.

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