Darcey Evans has always been passionate about the environment. Growing up, long weekend hikes with her dog first sparked her interest in conservation. Today, she is working with the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) as a Tribal Climate Change Management Intern for the summer and is looking forward to pursuing a life-long career in the fields of conservation and climate change.
“Rather than completing research projects without anyone at the finish line to greet us, I want a whole bunch of people standing by with their arms outstretched just waiting for the handoff to get our results.” Those are the words of Kim Winton, Director of the South Central Climate Science Center, which is now in the midst of a significant planning effort to improve and increase what the U.S. Geological Survey calls “co-production of knowledge.”
A team of researchers supported by the California LCC and Climate Science Center released a study titled "Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation".
Climate change refugia refers to areas relatively buffered from contemporary climate change over time that enable persistence of valued physical, ecological, and socio-cultural resources. These areas need to be identified, managed, and conserved for at-risk species.
With funding from the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC, a Purdue University research team has found that agricultural producers in the Mississippi River Basin give more weight to soil erosion than to any other criteria when making decisions on whether to adopt conservation practices, as they seek to improve soil health and prevent erosion.
8/23 at 1:40-5:00pm CDT American Fisheries Society - Inland Drivers of Hypoxia Symposium… 8/23 at 11:30am AKDT Assessing Cultural Resource Vulnerability to Climate Change Webinar… 8/24 at 9am PDT GREAT BASIN LCC Webinar: An Assessment of Climate Monitoring for Land Management Applications in the Great Basin
The Great Basin faces a range of conservation threats from invasive weeds to rampant wildfires and everything in between. The Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative just took a big step in addressing the region’s most pressing challenges at a large landscape scale.
NOAA and its partners have developed a new forecasting tool to simulate how water moves throughout the nation’s rivers and streams, paving the way for the biggest improvement in flood forecasting the country has ever seen.
There are lake people, and ocean people, and river people, and mountain people, and desert people, and swamp people, and prairie people, and forest people, and…
We’re all kinds of people who personally connect to the boundless patchwork of many landscapes. Who, deep down, hear the call of nature and heed it with a passionate desire to care for it… to be stewardship people.
Today, we're celebrating a century of conservation beyond borders! On this very day 100 years ago, the U.S. signed the first Migratory Bird Treaty with Great Britain (for Canada). It was the culmination of an unprecedented movement to protect wildlife wherever it lived, including across international borders, and it set the stage for a century of bird conservation.
8/17-12/9 Free Online Course: Managing for a Changing Climate… 8/17 at 1pm EDT Webinar: Environmental Flows on the Bill Williams River (Lessons Learned)… 8/18 at 9am-5pm AKDT ARCTIC LCC Workshop: SnowDens-3D Decision Support Tool - Modeling Snowdrift Habitat for Polar Bear Dens
Eastern North Carolina has a wealth of natural and working lands that are important to the nation’s defense, as recognized in an exciting announcement from N.C. Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Troxler, last month. As part of the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership, 33 eastern counties in North Carolina were federally designated as Sentinel Landscapes.
The lower Missouri River, the largest free-flowing river reach in the United States, encompasses nearly 1.5 million acres of bottomland habitat for fish, wildlife and plants, while providing commercial transportation and recreation opportunities for communities across our nation’s heartland. The Missouri River contains countless conservation properties and efforts maintained by local, state and federal agencies, nonprofit groups and private entities along the river.
The process of prairie reconstruction (establishing prairie from seed) is frequently used to buffer or enlarge existing prairie remnants, build a semblance of historic prairie where it no longer exists, improve water quality or create habitat. Many conservation organizations and landowners attempt to reconstruct diverse prairie but through time quality among such plantings can range from highly diverse, functional prairies to disappointingly weedy places with few native species.
There is increasing interest in managing landscapes in a manner that results in multiple benefits to people. Whether direct or indirect, large or small, these benefits are referred to as ecosystem services. But what does this kind of conservation look like in practice and how does an ecosystem-services approach differ from business-as-usual? A team led by Bonnie Keeler of the University of Minnesota sought answers to these questions as part of a multidisciplinary and multisector project in the Middle Cedar River Basin in Iowa.
The Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC is currently playing a role in a multi-agency, multi-sector project in northern Missouri to examine the efficacy of using native grasses and forbs as biomass for anaerobic digestion and biogas production (CNG and LNG) on a commercial scale. Working with local partners like Roeslein Alternative Energy, Smithfield Foods, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the USFWS’ Missouri Partners for Fish and Wildlife, this proof-of-concept project involves 200 acres of test plantings at the local Ruckman Farm.
The North Pacific LCC recently announced the selected projects for funding in fiscal year 2016. These projects are consistent with the NPLCC’s mission, goals, and strategies. They were selected after careful review and a competitive ranking process. Most importantly, they are responsive to the needs of the NPLCC's partners – those working to conserve natural and cultural resources in the face of our rapidly changing environment.
The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) has produced new online maps and data visualizations to provide landscape conservation designers with tools to understand ecological consequences of climate change on a landscape scale. These resources may be particularly relevant for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that are currently or are preparing to develop landscape conservation designs.
The Caribbean LCC will welcome its new Coordinator later this summer — Dr. Miguel García.
Dr. García is currently the Undersecretary for Protected Areas and Biodiversity for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER). He has also served as the Director of Fisheries and Wildlife, Endangered Species Coordinator and as a Wildlife Biologist for the DNER.
Information from the North Atlantic LCC-supported landscape conservation design for the Connecticut River watershed is being used to identify candidate projects for a grant program focused on reducing runoff into Long Island Sound by protecting private forestlands threatened by development.
In the March 2016 Quarterly Connections Newsletter Recent Progress in Our Strategic Direction, the Caribbean LCC announced the Steering Committee’s decision to hire a full-time coordinator. The search then began for a highly qualified individual to be the lead facilitator of cooperative activities and programs.
8/02 1:00-2:00pm (CDT) GULF COASTAL PLAINS & OZARKS LCC Webinar: Desired Forest Condition Metrics and Wildlife Habitat Models for Open Pine Habitat and Species… 8/03 1:00pm (CDT) GULF COAST PRAIRIE LCC End-of-Project Webinar: Strategic Coordination of Quadrula Species Research and Conservation - Support for Development of a Conservation Plan… 8/03 2:00-3:00pm (CDT) PLAINS AND PRAIRIE POTHOLES LCC WEBINAR: Collaborative Conservation across Landscapes - Experiences from the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC
The rivers and streams of the Central Appalachians are home to more than 200 species of fish and other aquatic life. They also provide a reliable source of drinking water, recreational opportunities and associated economic benefits to people living in large cities and surrounding communities.
The Appalachian LCC provided a grant to Cornell University Environmental Engineers to study how the region’s surface freshwater supply – and the health of natural systems delivering this resource – have been impacted and may be altered in the coming years under increasing water withdrawals.
7/26 at 2:00pm EDT Gulf CoastAL Plains & Ozarks LCC Webinar: Grassland Habitat Management for Diverse Taxa and Stakeholders… 7/26-7/27 Appalachian LCC Steering Committee Meeting… 7/26 at 3:00pm EDT National Association of Invasive Plant Councils Webinar: Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles… 7/26-7/28 Grazing Management Processes and Strategies for Riparian Wetland Areas Training
A group of Alaska Native elders and scientists recently gathered to discuss the path forward for their communities as climate change brings about new and sometimes unexpected changes.
It was merely a few weeks ago that more than 60 LCC coordinators, science coordinators and partners came together for a three-day June meeting in St. Louis, MO to discuss the next of the next steps in addressing the recommendations outlined by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 2015 Review of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. That’s our good-looking group in the photo.
Based on the premise that gravel-bed river floodplains are overlooked as ecological regulators of mountain landscapes, a team of scientists set out to synthesize decades of research, from hydrological processes to grizzly bear movements, in the northern Rocky Mountains.
Their resulting interdisciplinary review, published in the journal Science Advances, describes the importance of these ecosystems in sustaining regional biodiversity and landscape-scale ecological integrity.
The Gulf Coast Prairie (GCP) and Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks (GCPO) Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) came together in Baton Rouge June 14 and 15 to review what has been done collectively in the Gulf of Mexico and to discuss how to best collaborate on future conservation efforts.
The South Atlantic LCC Steering Committee has approved a version of Conservation Blueprint 2.1 that incorporates marine corridors and uses a slightly different color scheme, addressing feedback from the June 2016 in-person meeting. The official release of Blueprint 2.1 is now scheduled for August to allow time for updating the metadata and the online Blueprint viewers.
What is the Great Basin LCC? What makes it unique, and where is it going?These questions and more are answered in this new short video.
Help spread the word about the resources and opportunities provided by the LCC. Share this video with your networks with #GreatBasinLCC, and look out more topical videos from the LCC in the coming months!
“My family lives off the land,” said Zannita Fast Horse-Pongah a Shoshone-Bannock environmental scientist. “Climate change planning is important to help our tribe protect our natural resources. We need to learn to adapt to our surroundings.”
For generations, Great Basin tribes have lived off the land; hunting, fishing and gathering natural resources for food, medicine and ceremonies. Climate change threatens this way of life. Rising temperatures push native plants and animals outside the bounds of protected sites and reservations and changes their seasonal patterns.
Led by the Great Basin LCC (GBLCC), the Northwest Basin and Range Synthesis (NWBR) project goal is to create a shared conservation vision for regional stakeholders by synthesizing existing science, planning, and expert knowledge from across the northwestern part of the Northern Basin and Range Ecoregion. The NWBR project area covers south central Oregon, northwest Nevada, and part of northeastern California. Here, water never makes it to the ocean, but converges instead in wetlands and lakes that equilibrate through evaporation and groundwater infiltration.
Under the Shared Landscapes Outcomes Initiative of the Great LCC (GNLCC) to address aquatic integrity and stressors in the Columbia River Basin, the GNLCC's Columbia Basin Partner Forum (CBPF) is facilitating information sharing and collaboration across partners.
Early last week, the South Atlantic LCC Steering Committee met with the Peninsular Florida LCC in joint sessions near St. Augustine, Florida.
The North Pacific LCC is pleased to announce that the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Climate Change Project has been awarded the National Climate Adaptation Leadership Award. The NPLCC provided funding to a portion of this overall effort in 2012.
Seven individuals and organizations were honored today as the first-ever recipients of the Climate Adaption Leadership Award for Natural Resources. The award was established by a partnership of federal agencies to spotlight innovative tools and outstanding actions towards climate-smart resource conservation and management. Two of the recipients have recieved LCC funding to support their projects.
Before joining the Arctic LCC, Wendy was a scientist with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in Nuuk. There, she designed and conducted research to support conservation objectives and guides natural resource development. She was often called upon to build relationships with diverse stakeholders and implement science-based decision-making processes, skills that have served her well in Greenland and will serve her equally well in Arctic Alaska and Canada. Before moving to Nuuk,Wendy was the Lead Ecologist at The Wilderness Society's Anchorage, Alaska office during 2006-2014.
Alaskans are creating the first comprehensive land use plan for a Michigan-sized area of forest, tundra, and salmon-producing rivers. Sandwiched between the vast forested heart of the state and the Bering Sea coast, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Bering Sea Western Interior (BSWI) Resource Management Plan sets high level goals for the next two decades.
Helping fish and wildlife without consideration of state boundaries is a big job. As larger landscapes are targeted, conservation dilemmas become more complex and murky. For example, pollinators numbers are dropping, not just in Iowa or Michigan, but across the Midwest, but it is virtually impossible to pinpoint where or why bumblebees and butterflies are declining. The threats to pollinators are not isolated to one location, making it important to consider the entire landscape to best understand how to help these species.
What does it mean to be a stake-holder? We’ve been thinking about Delbert Pungowiyi. He’s the President of the Native Village of Savoonga, a place that’s called the “Walrus Capital of the World” located on the northern coast of the St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. Diminishing sea ice spells potential disaster for his community where the local economy and diet consists largely of subsistence hunting for walrus, seals and bowhead whales. There is a lot at stake – a lot to lose – in Savoonga in the face of a changing climate.
Coastlines and Communities
Coastlines are dynamic environments, constantly shaped by waves, winds, tides and storms. Yet diminishing sea ice, warming waters and new storm patterns are signaling a shift toward conditions outside of the historic norm. Coastal sea ice, which has traditionally protected coastal and riverine communities in much of Alaska, has diminished, increasing the vulnerability of coastal communities to storm surges, flooding and erosion.
The Great Plains LCC released its 2014-2015 Annual Report highligting the LCC's major accomplishments in strengthening partnerships and building new ones; designing sustainable landscapes in the Great Plains; advancing watershed-scale restoration in the Great Plains, identifying priority conservation areas in Oklahoma; modeling the effects of climate change on grassland ecosystems; providing support for ecological assessments and bird monitoring; and more.
The draft corridors for Blueprint 2.1 are now up on the Conservation Planning Atlas. The methods are very similar to those from Blueprint 2.0 – Identify hubs to connect and then least cost paths between them.
The week of May 9, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC staff met with representatives from America's Longleaf, The Shortleaf Pine Initiative, The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Weyerhauser, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama, The Joseph W. Jones Center at Ichauway, Mississippi State University, the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, NatureServe, and the U.S. Forest Service to discuss collaboration on several projects focused on better understanding and management of open pine ecosystems.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rolled out a greatly improved National Wetlands Inventory mapper, which will allow the public and diverse partners from industry; state, federal and local governments; and conservation groups to better understand and sustainably manage the nation’s wetlands. The upgrade represents a dramatic improvement in the Service’s ability to measure potential impacts to wetlands, track contaminants, and identify wildlife habitats and corridors. The latter is key to addressing wildlife impacts of climate change.
For the first time ever, the Gulf Coast Prairie and the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCCs’ respective steering committees will be meeting together to ratchet up their level of collaboration on shared conservation issues. And what better venue for the meeting than the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) All Hands Meeting in Baton Rouge, LA.
The Gulf Coast Prairie LCC released its 2015 Annual Report today highlighting major accomplishments from the past year, including the release of the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment, new research on focal habitats and species like the Guadalupe Bass, and progress on Landscape Conservation Design in the region through coarse and fine filter efforts.
Did you know that the word landscape first entered the English language in the early 1600s purely as a term for works of art? And, a particular characteristic of landscape art is that the main subject is a wide view of natural scenery. It's a lot like the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives - taking a wider view of conservation.
The Appalachian LCC and the U.S. Forest Service are releasing products from the first phase of an ongoing study assessing benefits of and risks to the region's "ecosystem services" -- natural assets valued by people such as clean drinking water, outdoor recreation, forest products and biological conservation.
It started two years ago as an experiment in combining big data with a big conservation vision for the 11,250 square-mile Connecticut River watershed. What emerged was Connect the Connecticut a collaborative effort supported by the North Atlantic LCC among more more than 30 partners from state and federal agencies and private organizations to develop a shared vision for conserving the Connecticut River watershed into the future. Outlining a network of core areas, or intact, connected, and resilient places within the watershed, the resulting “design” serves as a roadmap for conservation. The Connect the Connecticut report is available today.