LCC News

Temperature and rainfall controls on coastal wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

Coastal wetlands along the northern Gulf of Mexico are diverse. Salt marshes, mangrove forests, and salt flats are all different kinds of tidal saline wetland ecosystems that can be found in the region. In addition to supporting fish and wildlife, these coastal wetlands protect coastal communities, provide seafood, improve water quality, store carbon, and provide recreational opportunities. Coastal ecologists have long known that temperature and rainfall regimes control the distribution and dominance of these different ecosystems. However, constraints in data quality and access have limited efforts to characterize the influence of climate on the region’s coastal wetlands. Below, I’ve included a link to a recent study published in Nature Climate Change where we used data from 10 estuaries in five states (TX, LA, MS, AL, and FL) to quantify these linkages and evaluate the implications of alternative future climate scenarios. The results identify thresholds for mangrove forests, salt marshes, and salt flats. Within the region, small changes in temperature and/or rainfall can lead to large changes in ecosystem structure and function. For example, small changes in winter air temperature regimes (i.e., freeze events) can lead to mangrove expansion at the expense of salt marsh. And, in drier areas (south Texas), small changes in rainfall can alter salinity regimes and lead to the expansion or contraction of salt flats. Ecologists refer to these changes as ecological regime shifts. In coastal wetlands, such regime shifts can result in the gain and/or loss of certain ecosystem goods and services.

Citation: Gabler, C. A., M. J. Osland, J. B. Grace, C. L. Stagg, R. H. Day, S. B. Hartley, N. M. Enwright, A. S. From, M. L. McCoy, and J. L. McLeod. 2017. Macroclimatic change expected to transform coastal wetland ecosystems this century. Nature Climate Change.

Link: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3203.html

Final EPA/USGS Technical Report: Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration

Appalachian LCC News -

This report presents a literature review of natural flow and a description of the potential effects of flow alteration on aquatic life, as well as examples of water quality criteria that some states have developed to support natural flow and maintain healthy aquatic life. The report also describes a flexible technical and scientific framework that state water managers can consider if they are interested in developing narrative or numeric targets for flow that are protective of aquatic life.

This scientific and technical report is non-regulatory and does not affect or constrain state or tribal discretion.

Hydrologic alteration can include an increase or decrease in water volume, seasonal flow disruption, and dramatic variation in water temperature. Hydrologic alteration can affect aquatic species’ ability to spawn, gather nutrients from the stream system, access high-quality habitat, and more. Hydrologic alteration may be further exacerbated through climate change. Recent climate trends have included the change in frequency and duration of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, which can have an impact on flow and affect aquatic life. Maintaining flow targets may help increase a stream’s resilience to climate change by reducing or avoiding intensification of existing stressors.

Previously, the report underwent a public comment period, the draft version of this document can be found in the docket EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0335.

Scientists: Strong evidence that human-caused climate change intensified 2015 heat waves

Appalachian LCC News -

The fifth edition of Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective presents 25 peer-reviewed research papers that examine episodes of extreme weather of 2015 over five continents and two oceans. It features the research of 116 scientists from 18 countries analyzing both historical observations and changing trends along with model results to determine whether and how climate change may have influenced the event.

The strongest evidence for a human influence was found for temperature-related events --- the increased intensity of numerous heat waves, diminished snowpack in the Cascades, record-low Arctic sea ice extent in March and the extraordinary extent and duration of Alaska wildfires.

“After five years of the BAMS Explaining Extreme Events report, we’re seeing mounting evidence that climate change is making heat waves more extreme in many regions around the world,” said lead editor Stephanie C. Herring, a scientist with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.  "As we get better at distinguishing the influence of climate change from natural variability, the local significance and impacts of this global phenomenon are becoming clearer."

Evidence of climate change in 2015 flooding, fires – and sunshine

Numerous other events of 2015 were made more extreme by climate change, the report found.  The probability of “sunny day” tidal flooding events in the Miami area, like the one that inundated coastal areas that September, has risen 500 percent since 1994, according to one study.  Human-induced climate change likely contributed to the record high intensity of west North Pacific typhoons and the record amount of winter sunshine in the United Kingdom.

But researchers found no evidence of an overall climate change signal in the delayed onset of the Nigerian spring rainy season or in the extreme daily rainfall totals that inundated Chennai, India in December.  There was likewise no evidence that the extreme cold winter conditions over the northeast United States in 2015 were made more likely by human-induced climate change.

Lessons learned over the past five years

More than 100 papers examining extreme events have been accepted for publication in this special report since its inaugural issue in 2012.  These studies take a place-based and event-specific approach to identifying the role of climate change, and answer the question of how much a particular recent event’s likelihood of recurrence or intensity has changed relative to the past.

While there’s mounting evidence in the role of climate change in amplifying the severity of heat waves, evidence of a climate change signal has not been found in a majority of extreme precipitation studies published in this special edition, Herring said.

However, she cautioned that the lack of clear evidence of a climate signal did not necessarily mean climate change played no role in an event. A “null” result could mean the event fell within the bounds of natural variability. It could also mean that the framing of the research question or the method of analysis chosen requires further refinement and development.

Identifying analytical methods that work better than others

Contributing authors choose the event they wish to study, so the new studies are neither a random sample nor a comprehensive survey of extreme weather events.  They do illustrate how various methods can be applied to extreme event analysis, she said, and in cases where multiple groups look at the same event, the relative skill of different approaches can be compared.

“With this report, we continue to document scientists’ growing ability to identify how climate change influences today’s weather,” said Jeff Rosenfeld, editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, which independently conducts the peer reviews for studies included in this special report. “These accessible and brief papers show the scientific community and the public that once seemingly impossible insights about climate impacts are now within the capability of timely, rigorous science.”

Five NOAA scientists served as editors of Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective: Herring, James Kossin, and Carl Schreck III of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information along with Martin P. Hoerling and Andrew Hoell with NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory. Peter A. Stott with the UK Met Office Hadley Centre also served as an editor.

View the full report online

The U.S. Global Change Research Program Wants to Hear From You

Appalachian LCC News -

This special report provides an update to the physical climate science presented in the Third National Climate Assessment released in 2014. The draft CSSR provides updated climate science findings and projections, and is an important input to the authors of the next quadrennial NCA (NCA4), expected in 2018.

All comments must be input within the USGCRP Review and Comment System, via an online mechanism or an off-line spreadsheet for later upload. If you are interested in registering as an expert reviewer, please click here and log in using existing credentials or by establishing an account.

The deadline for comment is 3 February 2017. More information can be found on our Open Notices page.

Partnership Seeking Input for Projects to Strengthen National Defense and Preserve Working Lands

Appalachian LCC News -

Established in 2013, the Sentinel Landscape Partnership is a nationwide Federal, local and private collaboration dedicated to promoting natural resource sustainability and the preservation of agricultural and conservation land uses in areas surrounding military installations.

"Together with our partners, USDA investments in the Sentinel Landscape Partnership are already having an impact, demonstrating that restoration of wildlife habitat and improving water quality can go hand in hand with productive working forests and ranches," said Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. "We've seen great progress so far, and USDA looks forward to participating in additional landscapes."

USDA, DOI, and DoD also released an accomplishment report for the six existing Sentinel Landscapes projects: Fort Huachuca in Arizona; Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, Camp Ripley in Minnesota; Avon Park in Florida; Eastern North Carolina in North Carolina; and Middle Chesapeake in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The report shows that Sentinel Landscapes projects are already promoting the recovery of threatened and endangered species, and conserving vital habitats.

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Sentinel Landscape partners are engaging in multiple efforts to reverse the trend of habitat and species loss, land use conversion, and training restrictions, with more than 1,000 acres of ranch lands protected through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) easement programs and an additional 14,000 acres enrolled by landowners in restoration and conservation technical assistance programs. NRCS and the U.S. Forest Service have invested more than $11 million in the Fort Huachuca partnership, which tackles critical regional issues of water quantity and quality, long-term agricultural viability, native habitat restoration, and military mission protection.

Entities that are eligible to submit an application include Federal agencies; state and local governments; American Indian tribes; for-profit and not-for-profit organizations or associations with conservation, agricultural, or silvicultural missions; municipal water treatment entities; and water irrigation districts.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the application portal located at: http://sentinellandscapes.org/application. Applications must be received by 8:00 pm EDT on Thursday, March 30, 2016 to be considered for a Sentinel Landscape designation in FY 2017. Applicants will be notified of their final application status in July or August 2017.

Appalachian LCC PI and Clemson scientists unveil software that revolutionizes wildlife habitat connectivity modeling

Appalachian LCC News -

After eight years of research and development, the revolutionary software was announced in the scientific journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution. Clemson University postdoctoral fellow Paul Leonard - former Appalachian LCC Conservation Planning specialist and current PI of our Landscape Conservation Design initiative - is the lead author of the article, “GFlow: software for modeling circuit theory-based connectivity at any scale.” Clemson’s co-authors are Rob Baldwin, the Margaret H. Lloyd-Smart State Endowed Chair in the forestry and environmental conservation department; and Edward Duffy, formerly a computational scientist in the cyberinfrastructure technology integration departmentwho recently left the university to join BMW.

“Historically, landscape connectivity mapping has been limited in either extent or spatial resolution, largely because of the amount of time it took computers to solve the enormous equations necessary to create these models. Even using a supercomputer, it could take days, weeks or months,” said Leonard, who is in the forestry and environmental conservation department along with Baldwin. “But GFlow is more than 170 times faster than any previously existing software, removing limitations in resolution and scale and providing users with a level of quality that will be far more effective in presenting the complexities of landscape networks.”

Habitat connectivity maps are paired with satellite imagery to display the potential corridors used by animal populations to move between both large and small areas. Billions of bytes of data – including fine-grain satellite photographs and on-the-ground research – produce geospatial models of the movements of everything from black bears to white salamanders. These models help federal and state governments, non-governmental organizations and individual landowners redefine their conservation priorities by computationally illustrating the passageways that will need to be preserved and enhanced for animals to be able to continue to intermingle.

“The take-home from this is that you can quickly compute very complicated scenarios to show decision-makers the impacts of various outcomes,” said Baldwin, whose conservation career has spanned decades throughout the United States and Canada. “You want to put a road here? Here’s what happens to the map. You want to put the road over there? We’ll recalculate it and show you how the map changes. GFlow is dynamic, versatile and powerful. It’s a game-changer in a variety of ways.”

When Leonard began his initial work under Baldwin’s tutorship, the existing software used for habitat connectivity mapping was slow, inefficient and consumed enormous amounts of computer memory. Leonard soon realized he would need the expertise of a computational scientist to overcome these frustrating limitations. Thus, his collaboration with Duffy began – and both ended up spending countless hours in front of their computer screens, synthesizing Leonard’s ecological know-how with Duffy’s cyber skills. The end result? A large-scale map that once would have taken more than a year to generate now takes just a few days.

“Until GFlow, the software available for ecologists was poorly conceived in terms of speed and memory usage,” said Duffy, who was the lead developer of the new software. “So I rewrote the code from scratch and reduced individual calculations from about 30 minutes to three seconds. And I also significantly reduced the amount of memory generated by the program. In the old code, one project we worked on took up 90 gigabytes of memory. With GFlow, only about 20 gigabytes would be needed. It’s most efficient when used in conjunction with a supercomputer, but it even works in a more limited capacity on desktop computers.”

GFlow will enable scientists to solve ecological problems that span large landscapes. But in addition to helping animals survive and thrive, GFlow can also be used for human health and well-being. For instance, GFlow has the capacity to monitor the spread of the Zika virus by documenting the location of each new case and then predicting its potential spread to previously uninfected areas.

“This software can monitor the flow of any natural phenomenon across space where there is heterogeneous movement that is based on some resistance to this movement,” Leonard said. “Besides Zika, there are other health and disease patterns that can be modeled using GFlow. And also other natural phenomena, such as the spread of wildfire in the southeastern United States and other areas around the country. We can parameterize wind strength and shifts, how much fuel is on the ground and calculate the spread across really large areas. So we’re examining all these possibilities and are open to collaboration with other domain experts who might be interested in using GFlow.”

Additional contributors to Friday’s journal article were Brad McRae, a senior landscape ecologist for The Nature Conservancy; and Viral Shah and Tanmay Mohapatra of Julia Computing, a privately held company. Ron Sutherland and the Wildlands Network provided valuable data that was used extensively during the development of GFlow

“Collaboration has played a huge role in this,” Baldwin said. “We’ve worked across departments. We’ve worked across boundaries. And without Clemson’s investment in the Palmetto Cluster supercomputer, none of this would have been possible. This collaboration has improved spatial modeling for ecological processes in time and space. And because it’s so computationally efficient, it can be done for extremely large areas – regions, nations, continents or possibly even the entire planet – in unprecedented detail.”

Secretary Jewell Announces Decision to Protect 75,000 Acres of Eastern Tennessee Mountains From Future Surface Mining

Appalachian LCC News -

Today’s action helps protect a spectacular area of eastern Tennessee that is critical to the region’s tourism and outdoor recreation economy, provides valuable fish and wildlife habitat and supports a healthy watershed.

In its petition, the State said coal mining in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and Emory River Tract Conservation Easement would be incompatible with existing local and State land use plans and programs, and that such mining would result in significant damage to natural systems and cultural, scientific and aesthetic values.

“Today’s action honors Tennessee’s request to protect the Cumberland Plateau’s majestic forests, mountains and streams for future generations,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “This is great news for the hunters, anglers, hikers and birders who come, year after year, to enjoy this incredible place. I applaud the State for their forward-looking vision that will help strengthen the local economy and help protect a critical watershed.”

The area is an important wildlife corridor, providing habitat for black bear, elk and numerous songbirds like the cerulean warbler. The New and Emory Rivers also run through the designated area and provide clean drinking water to thousands of Tennesseans. The designation does not impact existing mining operations within the area.

“Tennessee appreciates the thoughtful approach applied by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement throughout their deliberate handling of the state’s Lands Unsuitable for Mining petition filed in 2010 for specific mountain ridgelines in the Northern Cumberlands. Their final decision provides protection for particular high-elevation ridgelines in this region and also affords increased potential for beneficial remining that was both responsive to our input and measured to achieve optimal conservation and recovery on important public lands,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.

“Secretary Jewell's decision to approve the State of Tennessee's petition to protect over 550 miles of ridgetops in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan and Scott counties as unsuitable for mining will help safeguard our state’s mountains without affecting mining operations in other parts of these counties or elsewhere in Tennessee,” said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.  “This means these ridgetop landscapes – and the rivers, streams and forests that surround them – can continue to bring millions of tourists and thousands of jobs to Tennessee.”

Tennessee’s 2010 petition requested that Interior’s Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE) declare a 1,200 foot corridor (600 feet on each side of the ridgelines) in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and Emory River Tract Conservation Easement as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. The petition area encompassed about 67,326 acres.

Based on public comments and a robust evaluation, including improved aerial mapping technology that more accurately reflected the State’s objective, OSMRE is designating 74,968 acres associated with 569 miles of ridgeline as unsuitable in Anderson, Campbell, Scott, and Morgan counties, Tennessee. The petition area is unique in that it creates a horizontal protection zone along individual ridgelines. A map of the areas described in the petition is available here.

The Record of Decision makes a limited exception for remining activities, restricted to proposals that will provide environmental benefits, such as reclaiming abandoned mine lands by eliminating highwalls and reducing the impacts of acid mine drainage and residual sedimentation. In reviewing remining proposals, OSMRE must consult with other parties, including the State of Tennessee, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, to determine whether any proposed remining action is compatible with the designation.

In evaluating the petition, OSMRE held public meetings in Scott, Morgan, Campbell, and Anderson counties as well as solicited public input and written statements during extended public comment periods. OSMRE also worked directly with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in evaluating the petition.

OSMRE studied six possible alternatives for the designation, including a “no-action” alternative that would deny the petition. The agency prepared a draft Petition Evaluation Document and accompanying draft Environmental Impact Statement in December of 2015. The final Environmental Impact Statement was released October 28, 2016.

OSMRE regulates coal mining in Tennessee under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. Section 522 of SMCRA allows any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected the right to petition the regulatory authority to have an area designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations.  30 U.S.C. § 1272(c).

Today’s Record of Decision can be found here.

Curve Balls and the Long Arc of U.S. Conservation History

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

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"This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation." Will Rogers (1932)

Well, the world of conservation was certainly thrown a curve ball on November 8, 2016. The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States was unexpected by many people. For those of us in the conservation profession, it raises many questions on what the new President-elect’s priorities will be for our country. If the rhetoric of the campaign is any indication, conservationists have a right to be concerned.

I was thinking about all this as I traveled to the University of Tennessee at Martin last month, about a week after the election. My purpose for the trip was to speak to Dr. Eric Pelren’s Wildlife Policy class at UTM. I’ve previously enjoyed this experience, and enjoy the opportunity to meet his students and discuss some of the contemporary issues that are important in today’s conservation world.

The long arc of conservation history

This year presented a different kind of opportunity. The divisiveness and outright ugliness of the Presidential campaign, the stark differences between the two major party candidates on conservation issues, and the surprising outcome of the election caused anxiety for many people. But it also presented an opportunity to gain some different perspectives, through the eyes of the next generation of conservation leaders. Knowing that I’m rapidly approaching the twilight of my career, I was more interested in knowing what was on the minds of college-age students who are preparing to start their own careers in conservation. What were their concerns? What were their aspirations? What issues do they see on the horizon? And, what was the first spark that inspired them to pursue a career in conservation?

My talk focused on the history of migratory bird conservation and landscape-scale conservation, but really it was about the long arc of conservation history, using the story of Joint Ventures and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to illustrate the progress of the last 35 years, which builds on a larger conservation story of what has transpired before, 

To prepare for the class, I asked the students to read 4 papers: 

  1. Baxter Open Letter to the Directorate.pdf provides 130 year historical context and challenges USFWS to meet the needs of the future;
  2. DOI Secretarial Order 3289 establishing LCCs and Climate Science Centers, a fundamentally new direction for the department; 
  3. Congressionally requested National Academy of Sciences Review of LCCs (summary), concluded that landscape-scale conservation/LCCs are important conservation priorities for the nation; and 
  4. An article (Scarlett_et_al-2016-Frontiers_in_Ecology_and_the_Environment.pdf) on the emergence of Network Governance in large landscape conservation, about emerging innovations in conservation governance that are enabling public-private partnerships to find new solutions to pressing problems.

Student perspectives: what’s important to the next generation

After the class, I invited the students to provide their perspectives on the conservation issues of the day, what their key issues and hopes are, and what inspired them to get into conservation.  Following is a summary of their responses:

  • What resonated most to you from reading the 4 conservation papers? – Many reacted to the Baxter Open Letter, saying that it had opened their eyes to the long-term history of conservation, and created a better understanding how conservation paradigms have changed over the last century. It also created an understanding of the continuing need to adapt to new times and challenges. One student wrote that the paper “opened my eyes up and lit a fire in me to help out even more” in protecting the natural resources that others have worked so hard to restore and maintain in the past.
  • What do you think are the most pressing conservation issues in the 21st century? – Reacting to the Presidential election, students expressed concerns about who the next Secretary of Interior would be, and what direction the country would take in conservation. Also, issues such as sprawling urbanization, loss of forests, population growth, and climate change were mentioned as important. The declining number of sportsmen was identified as an important challenge for state fish & wildlife agencies, and the North American model of wildlife conservation, that relies on this constituency for funding and relevance.
  • What are your personal goals, both short and long-term, in conservation? – Most of the students mentioned getting a job in the conservation field as their most important short-term goal. For longer term goals, there were a range of thoughts: post graduate degree in wildlife or advancement in a conservation organization; tackling larger conservation issues such as restoring bobwhites; being a mentor to the next generation of conservationists that will follow them; working on global conservation initiatives to conserve wildlife habitat or mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • What caused you to get into conservation as a profession? – Consistently, students identified a mentor, usually their father, who provided that first spark that got them interested in wildlife conservation as a potential career interest. Some students grew up in a state park, or close to a park where they could be outdoors and explore nature. All of the students wrote of the importance of being introduced to the outdoors at an early age, and how much they loved various outdoor activities, whether it be camping, hunting, fishing, or caving.

Resting easy in uncertain times

Clearly, we are in for some uncertain times as a new Administration takes office in Washington, DC and begins to implement its priorities for the country. I’m sure there will some changes that I will disagree with vehemently, but I remain hopeful that some of the more damaging changes will either be short-lived or abandoned altogether, and I also have hope that some positive changes will be implemented as well. I appreciate the UT-Martin students for their willingness to voice their opinions and perspectives on the current state of affairs in conservation. We owe it to this next generation of conservation leaders to both share our experiences on lessons learned throughout our careers, but also to hear them out on their own concerns and priorities as they prepare to launch their careers.

I am also able to rest a little easier knowing that when measured against the long arc of conservation history, the next 4 years is but a short blip, and progress will continue to be made. In the last century, our profession has weathered a financial depression, two World Wars, and numerous other setbacks, but has nonetheless continued to make progress in conserving fish and wildlife. I expect that we will continue that tradition as we move forward. With that in mind, it’s time for us to all roll up our sleeves and to work even harder to ensure that our next generation of conservation leaders have a conservation legacy on which to build.

Curve Balls and the Long Arc of U.S. Conservation History

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/

"This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation." Will Rogers (1932)

Well, the world of conservation was certainly thrown a curve ball on November 8, 2016. The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States was unexpected by many people. For those of us in the conservation profession, it raises many questions on what the new President-elect’s priorities will be for our country. If the rhetoric of the campaign is any indication, conservationists have a right to be concerned.

I was thinking about all this as I traveled to the University of Tennessee at Martin last month, about a week after the election. My purpose for the trip was to speak to Dr. Eric Pelren’s Wildlife Policy class at UTM. I’ve previously enjoyed this experience, and enjoy the opportunity to meet his students and discuss some of the contemporary issues that are important in today’s conservation world.

The long arc of conservation history

This year presented a different kind of opportunity. The divisiveness and outright ugliness of the Presidential campaign, the stark differences between the two major party candidates on conservation issues, and the surprising outcome of the election caused anxiety for many people. But it also presented an opportunity to gain some different perspectives, through the eyes of the next generation of conservation leaders. Knowing that I’m rapidly approaching the twilight of my career, I was more interested in knowing what was on the minds of college-age students who are preparing to start their own careers in conservation. What were their concerns? What were their aspirations? What issues do they see on the horizon? And, what was the first spark that inspired them to pursue a career in conservation?

My talk focused on the history of migratory bird conservation and landscape-scale conservation, but really it was about the long arc of conservation history, using the story of Joint Ventures and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to illustrate the progress of the last 35 years, which builds on a larger conservation story of what has transpired before, 

To prepare for the class, I asked the students to read 4 papers: 

  1. Baxter Open Letter to the Directorate.pdf provides 130 year historical context and challenges USFWS to meet the needs of the future;
  2. DOI Secretarial Order 3289 establishing LCCs and Climate Science Centers, a fundamentally new direction for the department; 
  3. Congressionally requested National Academy of Sciences Review of LCCs (summary), concluded that landscape-scale conservation/LCCs are important conservation priorities for the nation; and 
  4. An article (Scarlett_et_al-2016-Frontiers_in_Ecology_and_the_Environment.pdf) on the emergence of Network Governance in large landscape conservation, about emerging innovations in conservation governance that are enabling public-private partnerships to find new solutions to pressing problems.

Student perspectives: what’s important to the next generation

After the class, I invited the students to provide their perspectives on the conservation issues of the day, what their key issues and hopes are, and what inspired them to get into conservation.  Following is a summary of their responses:

  • What resonated most to you from reading the 4 conservation papers? – Many reacted to the Baxter Open Letter, saying that it had opened their eyes to the long-term history of conservation, and created a better understanding how conservation paradigms have changed over the last century. It also created an understanding of the continuing need to adapt to new times and challenges. One student wrote that the paper “opened my eyes up and lit a fire in me to help out even more” in protecting the natural resources that others have worked so hard to restore and maintain in the past.
  • What do you think are the most pressing conservation issues in the 21st century? – Reacting to the Presidential election, students expressed concerns about who the next Secretary of Interior would be, and what direction the country would take in conservation. Also, issues such as sprawling urbanization, loss of forests, population growth, and climate change were mentioned as important. The declining number of sportsmen was identified as an important challenge for state fish & wildlife agencies, and the North American model of wildlife conservation, that relies on this constituency for funding and relevance.
  • What are your personal goals, both short and long-term, in conservation? – Most of the students mentioned getting a job in the conservation field as their most important short-term goal. For longer term goals, there were a range of thoughts: post graduate degree in wildlife or advancement in a conservation organization; tackling larger conservation issues such as restoring bobwhites; being a mentor to the next generation of conservationists that will follow them; working on global conservation initiatives to conserve wildlife habitat or mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • What caused you to get into conservation as a profession? – Consistently, students identified a mentor, usually their father, who provided that first spark that got them interested in wildlife conservation as a potential career interest. Some students grew up in a state park, or close to a park where they could be outdoors and explore nature. All of the students wrote of the importance of being introduced to the outdoors at an early age, and how much they loved various outdoor activities, whether it be camping, hunting, fishing, or caving.

Resting easy in uncertain times

Clearly, we are in for some uncertain times as a new Administration takes office in Washington, DC and begins to implement its priorities for the country. I’m sure there will some changes that I will disagree with vehemently, but I remain hopeful that some of the more damaging changes will either be short-lived or abandoned altogether, and I also have hope that some positive changes will be implemented as well. I appreciate the UT-Martin students for their willingness to voice their opinions and perspectives on the current state of affairs in conservation. We owe it to this next generation of conservation leaders to both share our experiences on lessons learned throughout our careers, but also to hear them out on their own concerns and priorities as they prepare to launch their careers.

I am also able to rest a little easier knowing that when measured against the long arc of conservation history, the next 4 years is but a short blip, and progress will continue to be made. In the last century, our profession has weathered a financial depression, two World Wars, and numerous other setbacks, but has nonetheless continued to make progress in conserving fish and wildlife. I expect that we will continue that tradition as we move forward. With that in mind, it’s time for us to all roll up our sleeves and to work even harder to ensure that our next generation of conservation leaders have a conservation legacy on which to build.

Curve Balls and the Long Arc of U.S. Conservation History

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/

"This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation." Will Rogers (1932)

Well, the world of conservation was certainly thrown a curve ball on November 8, 2016. The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States was unexpected by many people. For those of us in the conservation profession, it raises many questions on what the new President-elect’s priorities will be for our country. If the rhetoric of the campaign is any indication, conservationists have a right to be concerned.

I was thinking about all this as I traveled to the University of Tennessee at Martin last month, about a week after the election. My purpose for the trip was to speak to Dr. Eric Pelren’s Wildlife Policy class at UTM. I’ve previously enjoyed this experience, and enjoy the opportunity to meet his students and discuss some of the contemporary issues that are important in today’s conservation world.

The long arc of conservation history

This year presented a different kind of opportunity. The divisiveness and outright ugliness of the Presidential campaign, the stark differences between the two major party candidates on conservation issues, and the surprising outcome of the election caused anxiety for many people. But it also presented an opportunity to gain some different perspectives, through the eyes of the next generation of conservation leaders. Knowing that I’m rapidly approaching the twilight of my career, I was more interested in knowing what was on the minds of college-age students who are preparing to start their own careers in conservation. What were their concerns? What were their aspirations? What issues do they see on the horizon? And, what was the first spark that inspired them to pursue a career in conservation?

My talk focused on the history of migratory bird conservation and landscape-scale conservation, but really it was about the long arc of conservation history, using the story of Joint Ventures and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to illustrate the progress of the last 35 years, which builds on a larger conservation story of what has transpired before, 

To prepare for the class, I asked the students to read 4 papers: 

  1. Baxter Open Letter to the Directorate.pdf provides 130 year historical context and challenges USFWS to meet the needs of the future;
  2. DOI Secretarial Order 3289 establishing LCCs and Climate Science Centers, a fundamentally new direction for the department; 
  3. Congressionally requested National Academy of Sciences Review of LCCs (summary), concluded that landscape-scale conservation/LCCs are important conservation priorities for the nation; and 
  4. An article (Scarlett_et_al-2016-Frontiers_in_Ecology_and_the_Environment.pdf) on the emergence of Network Governance in large landscape conservation, about emerging innovations in conservation governance that are enabling public-private partnerships to find new solutions to pressing problems.

Student perspectives: what’s important to the next generation

After the class, I invited the students to provide their perspectives on the conservation issues of the day, what their key issues and hopes are, and what inspired them to get into conservation.  Following is a summary of their responses:

  • What resonated most to you from reading the 4 conservation papers? – Many reacted to the Baxter Open Letter, saying that it had opened their eyes to the long-term history of conservation, and created a better understanding how conservation paradigms have changed over the last century. It also created an understanding of the continuing need to adapt to new times and challenges. One student wrote that the paper “opened my eyes up and lit a fire in me to help out even more” in protecting the natural resources that others have worked so hard to restore and maintain in the past.
  • What do you think are the most pressing conservation issues in the 21st century? – Reacting to the Presidential election, students expressed concerns about who the next Secretary of Interior would be, and what direction the country would take in conservation. Also, issues such as sprawling urbanization, loss of forests, population growth, and climate change were mentioned as important. The declining number of sportsmen was identified as an important challenge for state fish & wildlife agencies, and the North American model of wildlife conservation, that relies on this constituency for funding and relevance.
  • What are your personal goals, both short and long-term, in conservation? – Most of the students mentioned getting a job in the conservation field as their most important short-term goal. For longer term goals, there were a range of thoughts: post graduate degree in wildlife or advancement in a conservation organization; tackling larger conservation issues such as restoring bobwhites; being a mentor to the next generation of conservationists that will follow them; working on global conservation initiatives to conserve wildlife habitat or mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • What caused you to get into conservation as a profession? – Consistently, students identified a mentor, usually their father, who provided that first spark that got them interested in wildlife conservation as a potential career interest. Some students grew up in a state park, or close to a park where they could be outdoors and explore nature. All of the students wrote of the importance of being introduced to the outdoors at an early age, and how much they loved various outdoor activities, whether it be camping, hunting, fishing, or caving.

Resting easy in uncertain times

Clearly, we are in for some uncertain times as a new Administration takes office in Washington, DC and begins to implement its priorities for the country. I’m sure there will some changes that I will disagree with vehemently, but I remain hopeful that some of the more damaging changes will either be short-lived or abandoned altogether, and I also have hope that some positive changes will be implemented as well. I appreciate the UT-Martin students for their willingness to voice their opinions and perspectives on the current state of affairs in conservation. We owe it to this next generation of conservation leaders to both share our experiences on lessons learned throughout our careers, but also to hear them out on their own concerns and priorities as they prepare to launch their careers.

I am also able to rest a little easier knowing that when measured against the long arc of conservation history, the next 4 years is but a short blip, and progress will continue to be made. In the last century, our profession has weathered a financial depression, two World Wars, and numerous other setbacks, but has nonetheless continued to make progress in conserving fish and wildlife. I expect that we will continue that tradition as we move forward. With that in mind, it’s time for us to all roll up our sleeves and to work even harder to ensure that our next generation of conservation leaders have a conservation legacy on which to build.

Curve Balls and the Long Arc of U.S. Conservation

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/

"This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation." Will Rogers (1932)

Well, the world of conservation was certainly thrown a curve ball on November 8, 2016. The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States was unexpected by many people. For those of us in the conservation profession, it raises many questions on what the new President-elect’s priorities will be for our country. If the rhetoric of the campaign is any indication, conservationists have a right to be concerned.

I was thinking about all this as I traveled to the University of Tennessee at Martin last month, about a week after the election. My purpose for the trip was to speak to Dr. Eric Pelren’s Wildlife Policy class at UTM. I’ve previously enjoyed this experience, and enjoy the opportunity to meet his students and discuss some of the contemporary issues that are important in today’s conservation world.

The long arc of conservation history

This year presented a different kind of opportunity. The divisiveness and outright ugliness of the Presidential campaign, the stark differences between the two major party candidates on conservation issues, and the surprising outcome of the election caused anxiety for many people. But it also presented an opportunity to gain some different perspectives, through the eyes of the next generation of conservation leaders. Knowing that I’m rapidly approaching the twilight of my career, I was more interested in knowing what was on the minds of college-age students who are preparing to start their own careers in conservation. What were their concerns? What were their aspirations? What issues do they see on the horizon? And, what was the first spark that inspired them to pursue a career in conservation?

My talk focused on the history of migratory bird conservation and landscape-scale conservation, but really it was about the long arc of conservation history, using the story of Joint Ventures and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to illustrate the progress of the last 35 years, which builds on a larger conservation story of what has transpired before, 

To prepare for the class, I asked the students to read 4 papers: 

  1. Baxter Open Letter to FWS Directorate, provides 130 year historical context and challenges USFWS to meet the needs of the future;
  2. DOI Secretarial Order 3289 establishing LCCs and Climate Science Centers, a fundamentally new direction for the department; 
  3. Congressionally requested National Academy of Sciences Review of LCCs, concluded that landscape-scale conservation/LCCs are important conservation priorities for the nation; and 
  4. An article on the emergence of Network Governance in large landscape conservation, about emerging innovations in conservation governance that are enabling public-private partnerships to find new solutions to pressing problems.

Student perspectives: what’s important to the next generation

After the class, I invited the students to provide their perspectives on the conservation issues of the day, what their key issues and hopes are, and what inspired them to get into conservation.  Following is a summary of their responses:

  • What resonated most to you from reading the 4 conservation papers? – Many reacted to the Baxter Open Letter, saying that it had opened their eyes to the long-term history of conservation, and created a better understanding how conservation paradigms have changed over the last century. It also created an understanding of the continuing need to adapt to new times and challenges. One student wrote that the paper “opened my eyes up and lit a fire in me to help out even more” in protecting the natural resources that others have worked so hard to restore and maintain in the past.
  • What do you think are the most pressing conservation issues in the 21st century? – Reacting to the Presidential election, students expressed concerns about who the next Secretary of Interior would be, and what direction the country would take in conservation. Also, issues such as sprawling urbanization, loss of forests, population growth, and climate change were mentioned as important. The declining number of sportsmen was identified as an important challenge for state fish & wildlife agencies, and the North American model of wildlife conservation, that relies on this constituency for funding and relevance.
  • What are your personal goals, both short and long-term, in conservation? – Most of the students mentioned getting a job in the conservation field as their most important short-term goal. For longer term goals, there were a range of thoughts: post graduate degree in wildlife or advancement in a conservation organization; tackling larger conservation issues such as restoring bobwhites; being a mentor to the next generation of conservationists that will follow them; working on global conservation initiatives to conserve wildlife habitat or mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • What caused you to get into conservation as a profession? – Consistently, students identified a mentor, usually their father, who provided that first spark that got them interested in wildlife conservation as a potential career interest. Some students grew up in a state park, or close to a park where they could be outdoors and explore nature. All of the students wrote of the importance of being introduced to the outdoors at an early age, and how much they loved various outdoor activities, whether it be camping, hunting, fishing, or caving.

Resting easy in uncertain times

Clearly, we are in for some uncertain times as a new Administration takes office in Washington, DC and begins to implement its priorities for the country. I’m sure there will some changes that I will disagree with vehemently, but I remain hopeful that some of the more damaging changes will either be short-lived or abandoned altogether, and I also have hope that some positive changes will be implemented as well. I appreciate the UT-Martin students for their willingness to voice their opinions and perspectives on the current state of affairs in conservation. We owe it to this next generation of conservation leaders to both share our experiences on lessons learned throughout our careers, but also to hear them out on their own concerns and priorities as they prepare to launch their careers.

I am also able to rest a little easier knowing that when measured against the long arc of conservation history, the next 4 years is but a short blip, and progress will continue to be made. In the last century, our profession has weathered a financial depression, two World Wars, and numerous other setbacks, but has nonetheless continued to make progress in conserving fish and wildlife. I expect that we will continue that tradition as we move forward. With that in mind, it’s time for us to all roll up our sleeves and to work even harder to ensure that our next generation of conservation leaders have a conservation legacy on which to build.

Looking Forward: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate

Appalachian LCC News -

The report, titled Looking Forward: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate [https://acwi.gov/climate_wkg/iwrcc/2016_nap_final_20161129.pdf] updates a 2011 national action plan and reaffirms the importance of continuing to improve the Nation’s resilience to extreme weather events and other impacts of a changing climate when managing our freshwater resources.  I have mentioned this on a couple of our NCT calls over the past year.

More than a dozen Federal agencies are involved in some aspect of water resources management, all of which are undertaking various efforts to build the nation’s preparedness to extreme events. Given the inter-related nature of federal agencies’ respective programs, it is essential that they continue to work together to leverage resources and build upon each other’s work, with strong collaboration and communication with state and tribal governments and local communities.

The federal interagency Water Resources and Climate Change Workgroup that produced the report outlines priority actions to make progress on the following recommendations:

Data and Research

  1. Sustain and expand existing monitoring networks and data collection on hydrologic and meteorological conditions and water demand.
  2. Modernize statistical analyses of observational data sets so that climate changes that have already occurred are recognized in water resources decision-making.
  3. Improve reliability and accessibility of water-related projections of future conditions.
  4. Enhance water supply and reduce water use through innovative technologies

 

Planning and Decision Support

  1. Advance regional coordination among Federal water resource management agencies to support climate change adaptation and resilience efforts.
  2. Develop guidance and provide assistance to communities and water resource managers on use of climate change information and tools for assessing vulnerability and facility resilience.

 

Training and Outreach

  1. Increase involvement in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit Water Theme.
  2. Sustain and build upon the existing Professional Development Series for Water Resource Professionals on Climate Change Principles and Practices.
  3. Engage State Water Resource Research Institutes on Building Climate Resilience.

 

The co-chairs of the Workgroup are:

  • Michael Shapiro, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USEPA Office of Water
  • Charles Kovatch, Deputy Associate Director for Water, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Wayne Higgens, Director, NOAA Climate Program Office, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
  • Jerad Bales, former Chief Scientist for Water, U.S. Geological Survey (retired)

More New Data Galleries on the Conservation Planning Atlas

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/

If you somehow missed the more-than-100-dataset Blueprint gallery in Todd’s blog, check it out here.

Murrow’s black bear habitat model for AR and LA is up.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/datasets/bb57ce26062e4514a22d1fe57e7a6a00

 

The upland hardwood assessment gallery (part of the Blueprint) also has some new data layers. https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/a7198b82f9d14af499188bb3c54f9514

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) is a partnership focused on sea-level rise and inundation in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  The NGOM SSC gallery contains the Surface Elevation Table (SET) inventory and a new dataset of “continuously operating reference stations” (CORS) for the northern Gulf.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/c2fc6642ea804d43aec3766fe4a1d6dd

Stay tuned for the data layers underlying the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Blueprint 1.0, to be hosted on the Southeast Region CPA

More New Data Galleries on the Conservation Planning Atlas

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/

If you somehow missed the more-than-100-dataset Blueprint gallery in Todd’s blog, check it out here.

Murrow’s black bear habitat model for AR and LA is up.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/datasets/bb57ce26062e4514a22d1fe57e7a6a00

 

The upland hardwood assessment gallery (part of the Blueprint) also has some new data layers. https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/a7198b82f9d14af499188bb3c54f9514

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) is a partnership focused on sea-level rise and inundation in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  The NGOM SSC gallery contains the Surface Elevation Table (SET) inventory and a new dataset of “continuously operating reference stations” (CORS) for the northern Gulf.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/c2fc6642ea804d43aec3766fe4a1d6dd

Stay tuned for the data layers underlying the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Blueprint 1.0, to be hosted on the Southeast Region CPA

More New Data Galleries on the Conservation Planning Atlas

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/

If you somehow missed the more-than-100-dataset Blueprint gallery in Todd’s blog, check it out here.

Murrow’s black bear habitat model for AR and LA is up.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/datasets/bb57ce26062e4514a22d1fe57e7a6a00

 

The upland hardwood assessment gallery (part of the Blueprint) also has some new data layers. https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/a7198b82f9d14af499188bb3c54f9514

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) is a partnership focused on sea-level rise and inundation in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  The NGOM SSC gallery contains the Surface Elevation Table (SET) inventory and a new dataset of “continuously operating reference stations” (CORS) for the northern Gulf.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/c2fc6642ea804d43aec3766fe4a1d6dd

Stay tuned for the data layers underlying the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Blueprint 1.0, to be hosted on the Southeast Region CPA

More New Data Galleries on the Conservation Planning Atlas

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/

If you somehow missed the more-than-100-dataset Blueprint gallery in Todd’s blog, check it out here.

Murrow’s black bear habitat model for AR and LA is up.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/datasets/bb57ce26062e4514a22d1fe57e7a6a00

 

The upland hardwood assessment gallery (part of the Blueprint) also has some new data layers. https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/a7198b82f9d14af499188bb3c54f9514

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) is a partnership focused on sea-level rise and inundation in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  The NGOM SSC gallery contains the Surface Elevation Table (SET) inventory and a new dataset of “continuously operating reference stations” (CORS) for the northern Gulf.

https://gcpolcc.databasin.org/galleries/c2fc6642ea804d43aec3766fe4a1d6dd

Stay tuned for the data layers underlying the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Blueprint 1.0, to be hosted on the Southeast Region CPA

Next up in 2017: Two GCPO webinars focused on ecosystem services and biological objectives for the Gulf

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please register for Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Region on Jan 17, 2017 2:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598043772965528834

Details: If you work with or seek to engage private landowners on conservation issues, then you will want to see the ecosystem service mapping results of a three-part project that focuses on the services (i.e. nature’s benefits) important to private landowners. Why? Because this research, conducted by Duke University's Nicholas Institute, provides coarse resolution maps showing where the provisioning of ecosystem services and possible demand for them exist in the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks region, which could be applied in a variety of ways. The data will eventually be housed on Sciencebase and made accessible through the GCPO LCC’s Conservation Planning Atlas. Additional parts of this project, focusing on a survey of landowner values and a social network analysis aimed at improving landowner engagement will be presented separately.


This project is sponsored by the four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and will also serve as the South Atlantic LCC’s Third Thursday web forum in February.

Please register for Establishing Explicit Biological Objectives to Guide Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Gulf Coast on Feb 16, 2017 9:00 AM CST at:


https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8323358376552423937

Details: If you are a Gulf Coast researcher, conservation planner, or wildlife biologist you will be interested in the results of this collaborative project among the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Why? Because in its Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed (2013), the USFWS lists an agreed set of biological objectives common to Gulf partners as foundational to achieve the Vision. The goal of this project is to develop explicit biological objectives for each of 13 Focal Areas in the Vision, along with associated conservation targets linked to specific habitat characteristics, all contained within a geospatial database. 

Please register for Understanding how river flow affects Guadalupe Bass and other species on Dec 7, 2016 12:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7187495794876614145

Details: If you are an aquatic biologist, fisheries manager, hydrologist, water manager, or conservation planner, then you'll want this update concerning a project testing assumptions about instream flow requirements of native aquatic species in one of the most rapidly developing areas of Texas. Why? Because this project, which focuses on Guadalupe Bass (an economically and ecologically important species endemic to Texas), will produce a rangewide assessment the effects of dam discharge on young Guadalupe bass, as well as recommendations on flow requirements and sampling protocols.

Next up in 2017: Two GCPO webinars focused on ecosystem services and biological objectives for the Gulf

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please register for Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Region on Jan 17, 2017 2:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598043772965528834

Details: If you work with or seek to engage private landowners on conservation issues, then you will want to see the ecosystem service mapping results of a three-part project that focuses on the services (i.e. nature’s benefits) important to private landowners. Why? Because this research, conducted by Duke University's Nicholas Institute, provides coarse resolution maps showing where the provisioning of ecosystem services and possible demand for them exist in the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks region, which could be applied in a variety of ways. The data will eventually be housed on Sciencebase and made accessible through the GCPO LCC’s Conservation Planning Atlas. Additional parts of this project, focusing on a survey of landowner values and a social network analysis aimed at improving landowner engagement will be presented separately.


This project is sponsored by the four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and will also serve as the South Atlantic LCC’s Third Thursday web forum in February.

Please register for Establishing Explicit Biological Objectives to Guide Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Gulf Coast on Feb 16, 2017 9:00 AM CST at:


https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8323358376552423937

Details: If you are a Gulf Coast researcher, conservation planner, or wildlife biologist you will be interested in the results of this collaborative project among the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Why? Because in its Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed (2013), the USFWS lists an agreed set of biological objectives common to Gulf partners as foundational to achieve the Vision. The goal of this project is to develop explicit biological objectives for each of 13 Focal Areas in the Vision, along with associated conservation targets linked to specific habitat characteristics, all contained within a geospatial database. 

Please register for Understanding how river flow affects Guadalupe Bass and other species on Dec 7, 2016 12:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7187495794876614145

Details: If you are an aquatic biologist, fisheries manager, hydrologist, water manager, or conservation planner, then you'll want this update concerning a project testing assumptions about instream flow requirements of native aquatic species in one of the most rapidly developing areas of Texas. Why? Because this project, which focuses on Guadalupe Bass (an economically and ecologically important species endemic to Texas), will produce a rangewide assessment the effects of dam discharge on young Guadalupe bass, as well as recommendations on flow requirements and sampling protocols.

Next up in 2017: Two GCPO webinars focused on ecosystem services and biological objectives for the Gulf

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please register for Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Region on Jan 17, 2017 2:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598043772965528834

Details: If you work with or seek to engage private landowners on conservation issues, then you will want to see the ecosystem service mapping results of a three-part project that focuses on the services (i.e. nature’s benefits) important to private landowners. Why? Because this research, conducted by Duke University's Nicholas Institute, provides coarse resolution maps showing where the provisioning of ecosystem services and possible demand for them exist in the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks region, which could be applied in a variety of ways. The data will eventually be housed on Sciencebase and made accessible through the GCPO LCC’s Conservation Planning Atlas. Additional parts of this project, focusing on a survey of landowner values and a social network analysis aimed at improving landowner engagement will be presented separately.


This project is sponsored by the four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and will also serve as the South Atlantic LCC’s Third Thursday web forum in February.

Please register for Establishing Explicit Biological Objectives to Guide Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Gulf Coast on Feb 16, 2017 9:00 AM CST at:


https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8323358376552423937

Details: If you are a Gulf Coast researcher, conservation planner, or wildlife biologist you will be interested in the results of this collaborative project among the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Why? Because in its Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed (2013), the USFWS lists an agreed set of biological objectives common to Gulf partners as foundational to achieve the Vision. The goal of this project is to develop explicit biological objectives for each of 13 Focal Areas in the Vision, along with associated conservation targets linked to specific habitat characteristics, all contained within a geospatial database. 

Please register for Understanding how river flow affects Guadalupe Bass and other species on Dec 7, 2016 12:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7187495794876614145

Details: If you are an aquatic biologist, fisheries manager, hydrologist, water manager, or conservation planner, then you'll want this update concerning a project testing assumptions about instream flow requirements of native aquatic species in one of the most rapidly developing areas of Texas. Why? Because this project, which focuses on Guadalupe Bass (an economically and ecologically important species endemic to Texas), will produce a rangewide assessment the effects of dam discharge on young Guadalupe bass, as well as recommendations on flow requirements and sampling protocols.

Next up in 2017: Two GCPO webinars focused on ecosystem services and biological objectives for the Gulf

Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC News -

/**/ /**/ --> /**/ --> /**/

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please register for Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Region on Jan 17, 2017 2:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598043772965528834

Details: If you work with or seek to engage private landowners on conservation issues, then you will want to see the ecosystem service mapping results of a three-part project that focuses on the services (i.e. nature’s benefits) important to private landowners. Why? Because this research, conducted by Duke University's Nicholas Institute, provides coarse resolution maps showing where the provisioning of ecosystem services and possible demand for them exist in the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks region, which could be applied in a variety of ways. The data will eventually be housed on Sciencebase and made accessible through the GCPO LCC’s Conservation Planning Atlas. Additional parts of this project, focusing on a survey of landowner values and a social network analysis aimed at improving landowner engagement will be presented separately.


This project is sponsored by the four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and will also serve as the South Atlantic LCC’s Third Thursday web forum in February.

Please register for Establishing Explicit Biological Objectives to Guide Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Gulf Coast on Feb 16, 2017 9:00 AM CST at:


https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8323358376552423937

Details: If you are a Gulf Coast researcher, conservation planner, or wildlife biologist you will be interested in the results of this collaborative project among the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Why? Because in its Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed (2013), the USFWS lists an agreed set of biological objectives common to Gulf partners as foundational to achieve the Vision. The goal of this project is to develop explicit biological objectives for each of 13 Focal Areas in the Vision, along with associated conservation targets linked to specific habitat characteristics, all contained within a geospatial database. 

Please register for Understanding how river flow affects Guadalupe Bass and other species on Dec 7, 2016 12:00 PM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7187495794876614145

Details: If you are an aquatic biologist, fisheries manager, hydrologist, water manager, or conservation planner, then you'll want this update concerning a project testing assumptions about instream flow requirements of native aquatic species in one of the most rapidly developing areas of Texas. Why? Because this project, which focuses on Guadalupe Bass (an economically and ecologically important species endemic to Texas), will produce a rangewide assessment the effects of dam discharge on young Guadalupe bass, as well as recommendations on flow requirements and sampling protocols.

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