High-resolution land value maps reveal underestimation of conservation costs in the United States

This paper presents high-resolution maps of the estimated value of private lands in the contiguous United States. The estimates permit the prediction of the cost of conservation interventions at a much higher accuracy than proxies used in previous nationwide conservation planning studies. A close look at two recent studies on US-wide floodplain protection and species conservation planning for climate change suggests that the use of previous cost proxies led to the underestimation of policy budgets necessary to achieve environmental goals by a factor of 2 and a factor of 37.5, respectively.