GCPOLCC's Posts (333)

The GCPO LCC Steering Committee spring meeting dates are May 17-18, with Tuesday and Friday, May 16 & 19, as travel dates. We will be meeting jointly with the EGCP JV on Thursday, May 18 (the EGCP JV will continue their meeting on the morning of Friday, May 19). 

We have secured a hotel room block for our GCPO LCC and EGCP JV meetings in Panama City, FL. The Sheraton Bay Point Resort is about 15 minutes from our meeting venue, Gulf Coast State College, and offers rooms at the federal government per diem rate of $115.00 (single/double occupancy). The cutoff date for our Room Block is April 24, 2017

The Sheraton Bay Point Resort is about 15 minutes from our meeting venue, Gulf Coast State College, and offers rooms at the federal government per diem rate of $115.00 (single/double occupancy). Our meeting dates are May 17-18, with Tuesday and Friday, May 16 & 19, as travel dates. We will be meeting jointly with the EGCP JV on Thursday, May 18 (the EGCP JV will continue their meeting on the morning of Friday, May 19).

You can make your reservation at the Sheraton Bay Point Resort via the following web link:
Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Landscape Conservation (OR copy and paste the following link into a web browser) https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/events/start.action?id=1703147782&key=20B8DCC2, or you may call 1-866-912-1042 to make a reservation over the phone (ask for the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Landscape Conservation group).

· We will be providing snacks and drinks (coffee, tea, water, etc) each day of the meeting, and are planning catered lunches for both meeting days (Wednesday/Thursday). One lunch will be off-site at the FWS Panama City Field Office. The approximate cost for snacks and lunches for the two days will be $30-$35. We will provide an updated cost a little closer to the meeting.

· We are also planning a field tour for Thursday afternoon, 2:00 – 6:00 pm, followed by a group dinner/social at the Sheraton Bay Point. The field tour will be to the Coastal Dune Lakes of Walton County. http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/all-the-parks-in-walton-county-florida/coastal-dune-lakes-of-south-walton/ (Please wear or bring along appropriate field gear and clothing to the first day of the meeting, as we will depart Gulf Coast State College for the field trip.)

A brief draft agenda is below – we will be sending out a full annotated agenda, along with accompanying notebook materials, a couple weeks prior to the meeting, on May 3, 2017.

Spring 2017 Meeting

Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC Steering Committee/
East Gulf Coastal Plains Joint Venture Management Board
Panama City, FL
May 17-19, 2017

Meeting Venue: This year’s spring retreat will be held at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL. We will be meeting jointly with the East Gulf Coastal Plains Joint Venture on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Tuesday, May 16, and Friday, May 19, will be travel days.

Theme: Towards a Conservation Adaptation Strategy in the 
Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – Travel Day

6:30 pm – for those interested, gather in hotel lobby to go to dinner.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Gulf Coast State College)

8:00 am - Meet in the Lobby to depart for the meeting room at Gulf Coast State College

8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Welcome to Florida – Brian Branciforte, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Introductions/Opening Comments

Aquatic Habitat Conservation Planning

12:00 – 1:30 – Lunch (tentatively at the Panama City Ecological Services Office)

1:30 – 5:00 pm

Ecosystem Services and Human Dimensions of Conservation Planning

Communications in the GCPO LCC

5:00 pm - Adjourn

6:30 pm (dinner on your own, or meet in hotel lobby at Sheraton Bay Pointe Resort for those who want to go to dinner as a group)

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Gulf Coast State College)

8:00 am - Meet in the Lobby to depart for the meeting room at Gulf Coast State College

8:30 – 10:00 am

EGCP JV Management Board/GCPO LCC Steering Committee separate meetings

10:00 am – 1:30 pm (Joint Session with the East Gulf Coastal Plains Joint Venture/will include a catered lunch)

GCPO LCC and EGCP JV overviews – Greg Wathen and Catherine Rideout to give brief overviews of the 2 partnerships

EGCP JV/GCPO LCC Collaboration – discussion on potential collaboration between the two boards. We will explore current collaborative efforts between the GCPO and EGCP JV, and discuss strategies for increasing the effectiveness and conservation outcomes of those efforts.

2:00 – 6:00 pm – Field Tour, Depart for Field Trip with GCPO LCC staff and steering committee members to the Coastal Dune Lakes of Walton County. http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/all-the-parks-in-walton-county-florida/coastal-dune-lakes-of-south-walton/ (Please wear or bring along appropriate field gear and clothing to the first day of the meeting, as we will depart Gulf Coast State College for the field trip.)

6:30 pm – Group Dinner/Social at the Sheraton Bay Point Resort

Friday, May 19, 2017 – 8:00 – Noon (Gulf Coast State College)

8:30 am – 12:00 pm

East Gulf Coastal Plains Joint Venture Management Board

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Birth of a Preserve in the Heart of Cajun Country

Recently, Bryan Piazza pointed out a swath of the Atchafalaya River with venerable cypress trees mirrored in clear, dark waters and told his sons, with quiet satisfaction, that he had helped to protect this place. 

The Atchafalaya River Basin is an area of almost 1 million acres that forms the heart of Cajun country — a culture so popular it has a music genre, a dance, a language, a cuisine, a region, and a mindset named after it.  This vast area is mostly swamp: 850,000 acres is forested wetland, which includes America’s largest remaining coastal cypress swamp.  It supports a variety of fisheries, including the fabled crawfish, and abundant wildlife including Louisiana Black Bear, Florida Panther, white-tailed deer, mink, and over 250 species of birds.  The river’s mouth at the Gulf of Mexico is one of the few places in Louisiana where land is actually being added to the delta, rather than subsiding away.  Yet, even with all these superlatives, the region may be on the brink of a renaissance of sorts.

One symbol of this renaissance is the birth of a Nature Conservancy preserve —5,359 acres of protected land purchased on July 2, 2015 and christened the Atchafalaya Basin Preserve.  Piazza, the Conservancy’s Director of Freshwater and Marine Science, explained the need for the preserve.  “More than a century’s worth of flood control and industrial development in the region have resulted in a network of levees and canals that have transformed the natural hydrology of the Basin.  In many areas, water flow is impeded, resulting in standing water that creates hypoxia (low oxygen conditions) and inhibits regeneration of cypress.  Our answer to this complex set of problems is the Atchafalaya River Basin Initiative, which is based on three foundational components: science, restoration, and community.”

Yvonne Allen and TNC staff amidst

blooming yellowtop in Atchafalaya bottomlands.

Common desires for restoration

Restoration will occur through land acquisition and projects designed to improve hydrology, along with scientific monitoring of results for continuous improvement to the methods.  “In addition to restoration on the Preserve, we are working closely with Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin Program to implement the East Grand Lake Restoration Project, something that has been in their annual plan since 2012,” said Piazza.  “This will be the first example of a partnership between landowners and the Basin Program that is focused on building a restoration project, and we hope this is the first of many.”

The aim of the project is to connect the river with the floodplain at lower water levels, the way nature intended, so it does not take a huge flood to allow water to move through the forested wetlands.  A series of relatively small cuts and gaps in levees and canals will allow more unimpeded flow.  The inflow provides essential nutrient inputs to the foodweb, while outflow prevents hypoxia and flooding that is excessively prolonged — something that even cypress seedlings cannot survive.

Looking at the value of forested wetlands

The science part of the initiative will learn from restoration to inform restoration.  “We have a lot to learn,” said Piazza.  “In addition to comprehensive monitoring, which will include continuous-recording instrumentation to determine the extent and effects of changes in water flow patterns, we have a research component.  The research program will be staffed by a conservation fellows program that partners with area universities to fund masters and Ph.D. students and post-docs.  They will focus on specific questions, and chief among them will be investigating the value of restoring hydrology in a degraded forest.”  

The Conservancy’s hypothesis is that restoring more natural, slow, and continuous flow through the Basin will increase denitrification (removal of nitrogen from the water), and thereby improve fisheries and forest health.  A growing forest will also sequester more carbon.  If this hypothesis is correct, then it will be possible to put a dollar value on these “bioreactor” functions, which are indicative of a healthy system.  

“What is the value of nitrogen removal to those trying to decrease the size of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?” asked Piazza.  “What is the value of the greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) that a growing forest can remove from the atmosphere?  We are also interested in the value of phosphorus removal, fisheries, crawfish production, forest health, and tree health.  These are all questions we have in common with a number of our partners.”  

Keeping people on the land

Engaging the Atchafalaya community in the conservation and restoration of the Basin is the last, and perhaps most crucial component of this initiative.  “We not only want to use the Atchafalaya Basin Preserve as a platform to highlight the work we are doing, we want to get other stakeholders — landowners, fishermen, hunters, agencies, and researchers — involved so that we can learn from each other,” explained Piazza.  

“There are very few places in the delta for people to come together on the land.  We hope to remedy this by opening the Atchafalaya Conservation Learning Center.  This will be a facility on the preserve where we’ll house grad students and visiting scientists, have meetings, and reach out to others.  Never underestimate the power of a nice big wooden table with some chairs and a beautiful view and some coffee!  It’s how people gain trust.  We are deeply committed to the culture.  We don’t want to change it, but help move it to a better trajectory.  There are divisive issues, yes, but we all agree the Basin is not on the trajectory that we want right now.”

The power of this particular approach in this particular place extends well beyond U.S. borders.  On a recent visit, one scientist with a lifelong career working in the Amazon expressed his amazement to Piazza, saying, “I’m excited because the issues you face are many of the same that we face on the Amazon.  We come from different places, but we speak the exact same language.”

The birth of a preserve, with LCC science in a supporting role

Just as it takes years of sedimentation for a delta to finally raise its landform above water, the Conservancy’s initiative in Louisiana is built upon years of science and restoration experience, as well as the support of the state director, TNC’s philanthropy and marketing departments, and key partners.  The Atchafalaya Basin Preserve is the first visible evidence of this foundation.  

The initiative began in earnest in 2009, and the Conservancy has worked closely with Dr. Yvonne Allen that entire time.  Allen is currently Aquatic Habitat Analyst with the GCPO LCC/USFWS and sits on a technical committee advising the initiative.  Prior to joining the LCC in 2013, she worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center and the U.S. Geological Survey.  

Piazza extols the virtues of Allen’s work, saying, “Not only is she a valued colleague but also a very good personal friend.  She has helped this initiative a lot.  One of the largest efforts she undertook was to develop a spatial understanding of inundation frequency across the Basin, using remotely sensed data, and tied to the Butte Larose river gage.  We wanted to know where to invest, and her dataset helped us identify the largest areas where cypress regeneration could occur, as well as those areas that could potentially be restored to support regeneration.  Her information helped us zone in on where to put our conservation:  we identified six priority conservation areas, which can also be connected with a network of large blocks of private and state-owned land.”

Allen pointed out that her collaboration with TNC has benefited the LCC as well.  “The results and interest from that early application of the inundation frequency dataset really helped me realize the potential application for it on a much broader landscape scale.  Right now, I feel like we are reaping the rewards from TNCs early interest and support.”

The Atchafalaya Basin Initiative’s combination of restoration, science, and community in today’s hyper-politicized world is an approach that takes guts, but ultimately, it may be the only approach that works in such a complex milieu.  “We want to keep people on the land,” states Piazza.  “We are finding a lot of common ground with the hunt clubs, the fishermen, and others who are out here all the time.”  

Healthy cypress tupelo is the initiative’s benchmark.  Working with its partners, the Conservancy is building the groundwork to take advantage of future opportunities that could provide incentives for further restoration.  “If eventually a voluntary or regulatory driver is enacted that puts value on nutrient reductions to the system, then we can turn that into a dollar value and use it to provide incentives to landowners for easements and restoration,” said Piazza.  “We all have something to gain by finding common ground, and the science is showing us that ground is vast.  Everybody wants a healthy Basin.  We want it for ourselves and for our children.”

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The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS) Symposium will be held at the annual SEAFWA conference on Wednesday, November 4 from 8am to 12 noon.  The symposium is right in line with the conference theme for the Southeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies annual conference theme: Conserving Large Landscapes.  Examples of other topics include

  • Tuesday, 8 – 10 am, Identifying State Frameworks for Large-scale Conservation of At-risk Species in the Southeast; 
  • Tuesday, 1 – 3 pm, Large Landscapes and Biodiversity Conservation in the South;  
  • Tuesday, 1 – 3 pm, Landscape-scale Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Local Government Land Use Planning.  

The flow of the SECAS session is

  • SECAS as envisioned by leadership in the southeast, and current activities;
  • LCCs as the hosts of conservation blueprints at various stages of development;
  • access to conservation network designs and supporting information through the Conservation Planning Atlas;
  • the role of the Southeast Climate Science Center with more specific information about 2 current projects;
  • a fine example of one collaboration for conservation delivery;
  • a synthesis of the Gulf as a working example of complex science-planning-implementation;
  • and summary/forward looking thoughts from Bill Uihlein of USFWS. 

Download the revised SECAS Symposium agenda as of Oct 21, 2015  

Symposium – Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy

November 4th, 2015  

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (break at 10:05 – 10:20)

The network of landscapes and seascapes, an essential element of the Southeast 

Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS), is developing through the work of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) and their partnership with state fish and wildlife agencies in the southeast United States.  The Southeast Climate Science Center (SECSC) works with the LCCs to identify global change-related information needed by the broad conservation community, and promotes decision science relevant to current and future conservation challenges.

The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy is already presenting a more comprehensive and collective vision for conservation in the southeast United States. Identifying the most important lands and waters that will meet the needs of fish and wildlife for future generations is not the only outcome of SECAS, but it is a critically important element.  Building on conservation planning efforts already in place, SECAS brings to the broad conservation community a spatially explicit depiction of the network of landscapes and seascapes…. the emerging conservation blueprint. 

The unique role of SECAS is to identify and support the steps necessary to regionally plan, implement, and evaluate actions that sustain habitat, mitigate threats, and adapt to future conditions.  Strategic planning and implementation are iterative steps, looking far into the future but focused on the next steps.  This symposium will present recent progress and suggest important next steps for key elements of this conservation adaptation strategy, 1) network of landscapes and seascapes, 2) conservation collaborations, and 3) landscape change information.   

Guided by a conservation blueprint that represents the landscape conservation priorities of the conservation community, SECAS provides the comprehensive vision for a desired future conservation landscape that will guide decision making to generate more robust conservation outcomes between now and 2060 in the Southeast United States. 




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ASMT initiates the Landscape Conservation Design process

The ASMT re-assembled at the end of June 2015 to discuss Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) as an approach to developing a conservation Blueprint for the GCPO region.  The interactive meeting was held using MeetingSphere software.  Science Coordinator Todd Jones-Farrand led the team through a presentation on LCD – what is it, why do we need it, & a proposal for how are we going to go about it – which was interspersed with brainstorming & discussion activities.  The full set of notes, including action items, can be accessed here.

The Process

The proposed LCD approach for the GCPO is composed of 3 main elements – a bottom-up assessment of current conservation investments, a top-down assessment of landscape conditions & threats, and a strategy framework that combines these assessments with species models to identify efficient adaptation strategies.  In general, ASMT members liked the logical flow of the approach, combination of "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches, and the incorporation of existing efforts & data.  However, they noted that the devil was in the details & made many suggestions for clarifications or improvements.

The 1st element is a bottom-up assessment of the current priorities & activities of the conservation community in the GCPO. The purpose of this element is to leverage the good work we are already doing across the GCPO and will result in both a database & a map.  The database, tentatively called the Partner Priorities and Investment Database, will catalogue scope, scale, extent, intensity & collaborative nature of conservation plans & projects.  The accompanying map will provide a spatial depiction of those efforts for the various habitat systems of the GCPO.   ASMT members viewed this element as very valuable & provided more than 40 plans or partnerships to consider for inclusion in the database.

The 2nd element is a top-down assessment of the landscapes of the GCPO.  The purpose of this element is to provide a scientific (i.e. transparent, replicable & defensible) approach to identifying the next best places for collaborative conservation effort.  The approach will take the form of a Rule Set applied to existing data.  The ASMT favored keeping the Rule Set consistent across habitat systems and geographies and developing 2 maps for each habitat system – where are the best places to protect (i.e. already in good condition) and where are the best places to restore.  The ASMT also wrestled with some potential criteria to include in the Rule Set favoring the inclusion of protected lands (+),the presence of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) or other priority species (+),and risk of urbanization (+/- depending) as ranking criteria.

The 3rd element is strategy framework that uses species targets and models to answer how much is enough and what is the most efficient way to get it in the face of future changes?  The purpose of this element is to tie the other elements together into a dynamic decision support tool that allows the assessment of alternative adaptation strategies to identify what conservation approaches are most likely to achieve our shared goal of sustainable landscapes.  This element was introduced in the June meeting but will be fleshed out after the other elements are complete.

Next Steps

The ASMT will break out into subgroups for the next meeting – terrestrial resource representatives will split out by sub-geography of the GCPO and aquatics folks will meet as a separate group.  Subgroup meetings are being scheduled for mid-August to mid-September.  We are also targeting additional experts/representatives to join the subgroup meetings.


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SARP Seeks Habitat Restoration Coordinator/Project Manager for Native Black Bass Initiative Program

Application Deadline:  September 30, 2015. Applications must be sent via email and received no later than 5:00 PM CST (Central Standard Time).  

Job Title:  Habitat Restoration Coordinator/Project Manager

The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) is an established Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) that is actively working to implement the goals and objectives of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, and the regionally-focused Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan, in the southeastern United States. The partnership consists of member agencies of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, federal agencies, industry partners, and non-governmental organizations actively engaged in the management and conservation of fisheries and other aquatic resources in the southeastern United States. Since its formation in 2004, SARP has fostered collaboration among local, regional, and national partners, shared and leveraged data and technical expertise, coordinated science-based conservation planning, and secured funding and other resources to support implementation of 126 projects aimed at restoring, maintaining, and enhancing aquatic resources of the southeastern US. 
The Native Black Bass Initiative (NBBI) is one of SARP's focal conservation initiatives. It was developed in 2010 in close cooperation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and consists of local, state and federal agencies, universities, non-profit organizations and businesses from across the region. These partners have come together to protect and preserve native black bass species and their habitats in the southeastern and south-central US. The initial focus of the NBBI is on three species with critical conservation needs (shoal bass, Guadalupe bass, and redeye bass), with plans for future expansion to other black bass species in the region.  

Duties and Responsibilities:  
In close cooperation with SARP member agencies and organizations, and with direction and oversight provide by the SARP Coordinator and Steering Committee, the Habitat Restoration Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the NBBI Business Plan with a primary focus on habitat restoration to benefit shoal bass in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river basin.  
Specific duties and responsibilities of the Habitat Restoration Coordinator:
  • Coordinating and facilitating overall implementation of the NBBI in the ACF river basin with possible expansion to other river basins in the southeastern and south-central US.
  • Facilitating communication and coordination among ACF and NBBI partners and stakeholders.
  • Coordinate/manage new and ongoing habitat restoration projects in watersheds home to native black bass species throughout the southeastern and south-central US.
  • Actively pursue funding opportunities to expand the NBBI.
  • Coordinate with partners to assemble watershed management and species conservation plans, and update the NBBI Business Plan as necessary.
  • Coordinate technical reporting of project accomplishments to funding organizations and other partners.
  • Work independently or with staff and partners to identify prospective habitat restoration projects and locations.
  • Conduct outreach to partners and stakeholders.
  • Track project activities and accomplishments and coordinate receipt of deliverables.
  • Provide project oversight to contractors and partners.
Minimum Skills and Qualifications: 
  • Bachelors degree or equivalent in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Fisheries, Hydrology, or related subject; Graduate degree preferred.
  • Experience in aquatic habitat restoration or related field.
  • Strong technical writing skills with ability to write, edit, and produce high quality documents.
  • Experience with environmental policy and the regulatory process and permitting is desired.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and written.
  • Comfortable engaging with partners and diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in rural and remote areas, walking over possible rough terrain, and wading in streams with exposure to all types of weather conditions and natural hazards.
  • Strong knowledge and proficiency with web browsers, email, and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Travel will be required and possible multi-day overnight trips depending on office and project location.
  • Applicants must hold a valid driver's license.
Logistics:  The Habitat Restoration Coordinator will be employed and provided office support by one of the SARP member agencies or organizations. The specific SARP member agency or organization to host the position and specific office location will be determined once the successful applicant has been identified. 

Preference will be given to applicants living in or willing to relocate to Georgia, Alabama or Florida.
 The initial appointment term for the position will be for 18 months with extension beyond that time contingent upon further grant funding. 

  • Salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience ($35,000-$60,000 annually).
Application Instructions: 

To apply, please send a cover letter and standard resume that summarizes academic and work history, contact information for references and past supervisors via mail or email to:

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
c/o Jessica Graham, SARP Coordinator
1601 Balboa Ave.
Panama City, FL 32405
(850) 769-0552 ex 229.

For information on the position, please contact: Dr. Jessica Graham, SARP Coordinator.
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2016 JFSP Research Funding Opportunity Solicitation is Now Open

 Open:   September 11, 2015

 Closes:  November 13, 2015 (Friday at 5 PM Mountain Standard Time)

 The primary funding opportunity notice (FA-FON0016-0001) includes the following 8 task statements:

1.      Implications of changing ecosystems in selected regions
2.      Social and regulatory barriers and facilitators to implementing prescribed fire
3.      Maintenance and restoration of sagebrush habitat in the Great Basin
4.      Effects of fire on tree mortality
5.      Post-fire landscape management
6.      Regional needs - Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientist: Season of prescribed burning to reach management objectives
7.      Regional needs - Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium: Prescribed fire effects on wood products
8.      Regional needs - Southern Fire Exchange: Prescribed fire smoke emissions

The Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award primary funding opportunity notice (FA-FON0016-0002) includes the following task statement and must directly relate to the mission and goals of JFSP by addressing one of the following topics:

Climate change and fire (e.g., fire behavior, fire effects, fire regime)
Post-fire recovery (e.g., effects of burn severity, treatment effectiveness)
Smoke or emissions assessments
Fire weather
Social issues and fire (e.g., community preparation, transfer and use of science,  public perceptions, fire-adapted communities)

Proposals on other GRIN topics will not be reviewed.

The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) is interested in sponsoring projects that explore and better define the concept of resilient landscapes, especially considering changing climates. This funding opportunity notice (FA-FON0016-0003) includes one task statement.

New Science Initiative - Ecological and social dimensions of resilient landscapes
    The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE) is to provide observational data necessary to evaluate and advance operationally used fire and smoke modeling systems and their underlying scientific understanding.  This funding opportunity notice (FA-FON0016-0004) includes the following 5 task statements:

1.         Fuels and consumption
2.         Fire behavior and energy
3.         Plume development and meteorology
4.         Smoke emissions, chemistry, and transport
5.         Modeling leads

Visit http://www.firescience.gov and look for Funding Opportunity Notices (FONS) in the upper left rotating panels. Click on View and apply.

For an in-depth examination of both the primary and GRIN funding opportunities, please go to: http://www.firescience.gov/JFSP_funding_announcements.cfm

Administrative questions should be addressed to Becky Jenison (208) 387 5958 (bjenison@blm.gov).

Task statement questions should be addressed to John Cissel at (208) 387 5349 (jcissel@blm.gov) or Ed Brunson at (208) 387 5975 (ebrunson@blm.gov).

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It's a New Year, and We're Moving Forward in the GCPO LCC

January is a time for resolutions and goal setting.  While Im not all that big on New Years resolutions, I do believe in the importance of setting goals, and re-visiting those goals on a regular basis.  The beginning of a new year is certainly a great time to do that.  Part of the process of goal setting is to evaluate the past year, to see where you made progress and where you didnt.  In that regard, some accomplishments to report that helped the GCPO LCC end 2014 on a good note first, I want to welcome Dr. Todd Jones-Farrand as our new Science Coordinator in the GCPO LCC.  Todd comes to us from the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture, where he was also their Science Coordinator for 5 years, and brings a wealth of experience in landscape-scale conservation planning to the GCPO Todd served as the Acting Science Coordinator on a 60-day detail back during the late summer, so Im sure he is going to hit the ground running.  

I also want to announce the hiring of Mr. Dennis Figg as the new Coordinator of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy, aka SECAS.  Dennis is very familiar with our work in the GCPO LCC, having represented Missouri Department of Conservation on the Steering Committee, and is nationally recognized for his work in conservation on a number of fronts.  It's great to have Dennis taking on the role of SECAS Coordinator.  Finally, we are working with the Gulf Coast Prairie LCC to cost-share a position through the Wildlife Management Institute Ms. Cynthia Edwards will be taking on the role of Gulf Coast Liaison, and will also be working closely with Todd Jones-Farrand to develop conservation designs across the LCC.  Im really excited about the potential of collaborating with the GCP LCC as we move toward integrating our conservation plans across LCC lines, and Cynthia is the perfect person to help us get that done.

Its hard to believe, but the GCPO LCC has been around for 4 years now, and, if you have read our annual reports, its pretty easy to see that we have made a good bit of progress over that time.  That said, we still have a lot of important work in front of us as we move into 2015.  So, following are some goals that I have been thinking about for this new year:

  1. Ecological Assessments in the last year and a half, we have brought on some great geospatial capacity at Mississippi State University and within the USFWS to help us ramp up our work on assessing the ecological status of our priority habitat systems, both aquatic and terrestrial.  We made a lot of progress in 2014, evidenced by this presentation that Kristine Evans and Yvonne Allen gave to our Steering Committee back in the fall.  That work is continuing on, and I expect that we will finish up the initial assessments sometime in the coming year.
  2. Landscape Conservation Design at last falls Steering Committee meeting, we presented an update on a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process in the Ozark Highlands of AR, MO, and OK.  That presentation was well received, and the Steering Committee approved the expansion of the process to the rest of the LCC.  That will be a large focus for our LCC in the coming year, and it will be a partnership-driven process as well.  So, be on the lookout for future announcements as we ramp up these efforts in the remainder of our geography.  Our timeline is fairly aggessive, and we hope to make a lot of progress on this front in the coming year, with Todd Jones-Farrand and Cynthia Edwards leading those efforts.
  3. As we continue to work on our LCC-specific priorities, we have to also be cognizant of whats going on with our neighboring LCCs, and how it all comes together into a regional vision of a future conservation landscape in the Southeast, hence the importance of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS).  We made some good progress on SECAS in 2014, but really need to ramp it up this year.  We now have Dennis Figg providing critical leadership as the SECAS Coordinator, and were also anticipating significant help from the SE Climate Science Center in 2015, so Im expecting some real traction from SECAS in the coming year.
  4. Finally, I would like to make some progress in 2 areas where we have not invested much energy in the last few years:  1) Developing Monitoring priorities for the GCPO LCC, and a strategy for implementation, and; 2) Beginning the process of integrating priority Cultural Resources into our conservation planning. These are both areas where we have been deficient, but they remain important to the overall mission and ultimate success of the GCPO LCC.  You should expect to see more emphasis in these two areas in the coming year.

Well thats my list of goals for 2015.  Do you have other goals that you would like to see the GCPO LCC take on?  If so, feel free to drop me a note via e-mail to greg.wathen@tn.gov, or better yet, post a comment on this news post and we can start a discussion that includes the larger GCPO LCC community.  Im looking forward to 2015 and continued progress.

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This past Christmas I got an awesome present – an offer to join the GCPO staff as Science Coordinator.  It was an opportunity to join a great team doing great work in the service of our environment and our country.  It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  As with any such opportunity, it comes with great responsibility and formidable challenges. I believe my past experience has prepared me well, and I am excited about what the future holds.

For the last 5 1/2 years, I have served as the Science Coordinator for the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture (CHJV), which overlaps the GCPO LCC in the Ozark Highlands. The CHJV serves on the GCPO LCC’s Partnership Advisory Council and I served on the Adaptive Science Management Team as the bird expert for the Ozark Highlands sub-geography.  I also played an active role in the Ozark Highlands Comprehensive Conservation Strategy (CCS) project, which the Steering Committee recently approved as the template for a Landscape Conservation Design for the GCPO.

The duties of a Joint Venture Science Coordinator are very similar to those of an LCC Science Coordinator.  With the CHJV I was responsible for developing and improving the scientific foundation of the JV’s conservation work.  I chaired the Upland and Wetland Science Teams and coordinated research projects with university cooperators.  I also represented the CHJV on regional and national committees that help coordinate and advance bird conservation, including the Partners in Flight International Science Committee (PIF SCI), the North American Waterfowl Management Plan’s Science Support Team (NSST), the Tri-Initiative Science Team (TriST), the Northern Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC), and the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership.  During my time with the CHJV we developed habitat models and other decision support tools.  Then we tied them together in a framework that allowed us to provide guidance to our partners on how much habitat we needed where, but also allowed them to assess the inherent tradeoffs among species (e.g. how might forest interior birds respond to savanna/woodland management?).

Although many of my duties as LCC Science Coordinator will be familiar, I am excited about the learning opportunities that will come with this new position.   New species, habitats, and partners will add to the excitement of serving in this position.  But don’t think of me as just a “bird guy”; I have a broad background of education and experience to serve as a foundation for entering these new territories.  Prior to my work with the CHJV, I worked for the University of Missouri developing water quality models in agricultural systems and received my PhD from Mizzou studying wildlife (birds and small mammals) response to filter strips (Conservation Reserve Program practice CP21).  I received my Master’s Degree from the Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where I worked on assessing river otter habitat quality as part of their reintroduction program.  I’ve also worked as a technician on research projects studying river otters, salamanders, bats, and small mammals, as well as birds.

As your Science Coordinator, I have two primary goals.  First, I want the conservation community to recognize us for providing useful products.  That will entail developing science products and tools that directly inform the conservation and management decisions made by our partners.  Second, I want the scientific community to recognize us for the innovation and rigor of our work.  

My initial focus as Science Coordinator will be developing the Comprehensive Conservation Strategy (a.k.a. Landscape Conservation Design) for the GCPO.  Although the Ozark Highlands CCS provided a good framework for approaching a comprehensive strategy, changes will need to be made to adapt it to the needs of the LCC.  Part of that adaptation process will involve linking the strategy to the Integrated Science Agenda, the Ecological Assessments, and all the other great research and projects this LCC has undertaken.  I look forward to working with current staff, our new editions Dennis Figg and Cynthia Edwards, and all of you to make that happen.  It is going to take input from all of us to develop a useful, and ultimately successful, strategy.  It will be a process of learning and discovery.  I hope you will join me in making the GCPO region a place where critters thrive.


D. Todd Jones-Farrand, 


573-875-5341 ext. 226

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This news is posted on behalf of Cynthia Edwards, one of the GCPO LCC's new team additions in 2015.  

Greetings!  I'm Cynthia Edwards, Science Coordinator for the Gulf Coast Prairie LCC (GCP LCC), and I am expanding my professional interest to the GCPO LCC through a joint arrangement that will enable me to work across the two LCCs.  I've been very fortunate to have worked with John Tirpak and Greg Wathen and to have attended several of their meetings over the last couple years and observe all of the great work that has been going on!  My main focus for the next few months will be to assist in completion of the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment as Amanda Watson wraps it up.  During this time, I will continue my role as GCP Science Coordinator.  My work with the GCP LCC has focused on working with our Science Team to identify the collective science needs and priorities of our partners working at a landscape scale in the Gulf Coast Prairie region.

I have a background in agricultural economics and have worked in wildlife conservation the last 15 years, focused on prairie Canada and the southern US.  I'm particularly interested in making linkages to the social and economic values of species and habitat conservation. 

I look forward to working more with the GCPO partnership and expanding my knowledge of the region.  It's especially exciting given that both Todd Jones-Farrand and Dennis Figg are also moving into new and challenging roles - a great team learning process!  

I'm based at the US Fish & Wildlife Service Ecological Services office in Jackson MS, so if you are in the neighborhood please give me a shout!  Always glad to meet a partner in conservation. 

Cynthia Kallio

Science Coordinator 



337-207-9377 (cell)

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This blog comes to you from Dennis Figg, the new Coordinator for the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy.  

It is wonderful to have the opportunity to move from one great conservation position to another.  I wasn’t quite done with the Missouri Department of Conservation, or rather, they weren’t quite done with me. The Missouri Comprehensive Conservation Strategy Version 1.0 was presented to Department leaders in November, 2014.  If I had not already committed to retirement in December, another year at MDC with greater emphasis on conservation delivery would have been tempting.  In any case, I retired as the Strategic Wildlife Conservation Planner after 30+ years with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  I know, it was a good working title, but Coordinator for the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy is good too.  I think I need bigger boots.

It might be useful for me to review my background and tell you how I got to this moment in my conservation career.  Problem is, when you are my age you can’t quite remember.  How did I get here?  I’ve been a heritage ecologist, prairie grassland ecologist, invertebrate ecologist, cave ecologist, T/E Species Coordinator, Missouri River Unit Chief, Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy Coordinator, and Strategic Conservation Planner.  Except for the last presentation to the Missouri Conservation Commission, it’s pretty much been a blurrrrr.  Fortunately, I worked with, and learned from, a lot of excellent people. 

I supervised more than a few botanists, community ecologists, zoologists and data managers over the last 30 years.  Many of the people I hired or promoted or mentored (sometimes aggravated) are now MDC leaders at the highest levels. That’s a good legacy.  I am a continuous learner and extract what I can from the people I work with.  That’s a good quality.  And I often have a lot to say, which also turns out to be another good quality.  Communication experiences include technical writing, popular writing, public speaking, radio, and television.  Somewhere along the way I even had a small television segment, something like “Tim the Tool Time Guy” for the outdoors.  Yep, Dennis was the star of Handy Hints for Missouri Outdoors for 7 seasons.  The concept was, “If Dennis can do it, you can too”.  I can show you how to make a bird feeder in 90 seconds.  I can demonstrate how to fillet a fish and not cut your finger off.  If that makes you laugh, well good.  It should.  Another quality, I laugh loud all the time.  Sometimes you have to stand back. 

When I suggested that SECAS Coordination was an opportunity, I meant to say challenge.  Building and implementing a vision for fish and wildlife conservation is a challenge at any scale.  Tackling that assignment for the southeast United States is a huge endeavor.  Fortunately I am optimistic, positive, overly ambitious and frequently gullible.  And I bring some experiences to the table that may help us all move forward together.  I’ve spent my entire career (which started at age 6 when I sold tadpoles to fellow cub scouts for 5 cents apiece) promoting the lands and waters that sustain fish and wildlife.  After the development of the Missouri Strategy I was an invited member on the National Council for Science and the Environment, Wildlife Habitat Policy Research Program -- a 5-year program that funded research to further the development of a habitat system for the nation.  I later co-authored the BioScience article, A State-Based National Network for Effective Wildlife Conservation, which suggested that the emerging network of Large Landscape Conservation Cooperatives could play a fundamental role in shaping the conservation network valuable to fish and wildlife.  During the last two years John Tirpak and some good folks from AR, MO and OK demonstrated conservation planning for fish and wildlife in the Ozarks at the scale of an ecological region.  That was illuminating.  

I am particularly excited to be working more closely on climate issues.  I have been the lead from Missouri to implement the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy.  I am an invited member of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Climate Adaptation Technical Advisory Group.  Most important of all, I know and value the work of state agencies, federal partners and the emerging LCC community.  What happens if we all start working together? 

But enough about me.  SECAS is not about me, but about your good work and how our collective efforts will sustain fish, wildlife and plants into the future.  SECAS is working with all of you to get agreement on the conservation landscapes of the future.  You/We are further down the road than you realize.


Dennis Figg

SECAS Coordinator

Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy



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Overview ES Studies for discussion

AbdElrahman A, Adams D, Borisova T et al. (2012) Final report- stewardship ecosystem services survey project, University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville.Download File


Deal RL, Cochran B, LaRocco G (2012) Bundling of ecosystem services to increase forestland value and enhance sustainable forest management. Forest Policy and Economics, 17, 69-76.Download File


Jenkins WA, Murray BC, Kramer RA, Faulkner SP (2010) Valuing ecosystem services from wetlands restoration in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Ecological Economics, 69, 1051-1061.Download File


McConnell M, Burger L (2011) Precision conservation: a geospatial decision support tool for optimizing conservation and profitability in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 66, 347-354.Download File


Nelson E, Mendoza G, Regetz J et al. (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 4-11.Download File


Yoskowitz D, Corollo C, Beseres-Pollack J, Welder K, Santos C, Francis J (2012) Assessment of changing ecosystem services provided by marsh habitat in the Galveston Bay Region. Final Report to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Texas A&M University. Harte Reseach Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Corpus Christi.Link

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Introductions to the topic including definitions:

Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis, Island Press, Washington, D.C.Link

Polasky S, Segerson K (2009) Integrating ecology and economics in the study of ecosystem services: some lessons learned. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 1, 409-434.Download File

Deal RL, Cochran B, LaRocco G (2012) Bundling of ecosystem services to increase forestland value and enhance sustainable forest management. Forest Policy and Economics, 17, 69-76.Download File

Fisher B, Turner RK, Morling P (2009) Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics, 68, 643-653.Download File

Boyd J, Banzhaf S (2007) What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units. Ecological Economics, 63, 616-626.Download File

Lant CL, Ruhl J, Kraft SE (2008) The tragedy of ecosystem services. BioScience, 58, 969-974.Download File

Daily GC (1997) Nature's services. Societal dependence on natural ecosystems, Island Press, Washington, D.C.Download File

Carpenter SR, Mooney HA, Agard J et al. (2009) Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 1305.Download File



Additional Resources (* denotes a document highlighted/mentioned by a team member):

*AbdElrahman A, Adams D, Borisova T et al. (2012) Final report- stewardship ecosystem services survey project, University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville.Download File

Barbier EB (2011) Wetlands as natural assets. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56, 1360-1373.Download File

Barbier EB, Hacker SD, Kennedy C, Koch EW, Stier AC, Silliman BR (2010) The value of estuarine and coastal ecosystem services. Ecological Monographs, 81, 169-193.Download File

Bateman IJ, Mace GM, Fezzi C, Atkinson G, Turner K (2011) Economic analysis for ecosystem service assessments. Environmental and resource economics, 48, 177-218.Download File

Bennett EM, Peterson GD, Gordon LJ (2009) Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services. Ecology Letters, 12, 1394-1404.Download File

Bradford JB, D'Amato AW (2011) Recognizing trade-offs in multi-objective land management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10, 210-216.Download File

Brauman KA, Daily GC, Duarte TK, Mooney HA (2007) The nature and value of ecosystem services: an overview highlighting hydrologic services. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour., 32, 67-98.Download File

Broughton E, Pirard R (2011) What’s in a name? Market-based instruments for biodiversity, Health and Environmental Report n°8. Institut Francais des relations internationales, Paris.Link

Chan KMA, Shaw MR, Cameron DR, Underwood EC, Daily GC (2006) Conservation planning for ecosystem services. PLoS Biology, 4, e379.Download File

Clare S, Krogman N, Foote L, Lemphers N (2011) Where is the avoidance in the implementation of wetland law and policy? Wetlands Ecology and Management, 19, 165-182.Download File

Cochran B, Logue C (2011) A watershed approach to improve water quality: case study of Clean Water Services’ Tualatin River Program. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 47, 29-38.Dowload File

Costanza R, d'Arge R, De Groot R et al. (1997) The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387, 253-260.Download File

*Costanza R, Wilson M, Troy A, Voinov A, Liu S, D'Agostino J (2006) The value of New Jersey's ecosystem services and natural capital, Gund Institue for Ecological Economics. Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.Download File

Craft C, Clough J, Ehman J et al. (2008) Forecasting the effects of accelerated sea-level rise on tidal marsh ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 73-78.Download File

Daily GC, Matson PA (2008) Ecosystem services: From theory to implementation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 9455.Download File

Daily GC, Polasky S, Goldstein J et al. (2009) Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 21-28.Download File

Daniel TC, Muhar A, Arnberger A et al. (2012) Contributions of cultural services to the ecosystem services agenda. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 8812-8819.Download File

De Groot RS, Alkemade R, Braat L, Hein L, Willemen L (2010) Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making. Ecological Complexity, 7, 260-272.Download File

Engle VD (2011) Estimating the provision of ecosystem services by Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands. Wetlands, 31, 179-193.Download File

Ervin D, Brown D, Chang H, Dujon V, Granek E, Shandas V, Yeakley A (2012) Growing cities depend on ecosystem services. Solutions, 2, 74-86.Download File

Farley J, Costanza R (2010) Payments for ecosystem services: from local to global. Ecological Economics, 69, 2060-2068.Download File

Faulkner S, Barrow Jr W, Keeland B, Walls S, Telesco D (2011) Effects of conservation practices on wetland ecosystem services in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Ecological Applications, 21, S31-S48.Download File

Gascoigne WR, Hoag D, Koontz L, Tangen BA, Shaffer TL, Gleason RA (2011) Valuing ecosystem and economic services across land-use scenarios in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Dakotas, USA. Ecological Economics.Download File

Gómez-Baggethun E, De Groot R, Lomas PL, Montes C (2010) The history of ecosystem services in economic theory and practice: from early notions to markets and payment schemes. Ecological Economics, 69, 1209-1218.Download File

Gómez-Baggethun E, Ruiz-Pérez M (2011) Economic valuation and the commodification of ecosystem services. Progress in Physical Geography, 35, 613-628.Download File

Jack BK, Kousky C, Sims KRE (2008) Designing payments for ecosystem services: Lessons from previous experience with incentive-based mechanisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 9465-9470.Download File

*Jenkins WA, Murray BC, Kramer RA, Faulkner SP (2010) Valuing ecosystem services from wetlands restoration in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Ecological Economics, 69, 1051-1061.Download File

Johnston RJ, Russell M (2011) An operational structure for clarity in ecosystem service values. Ecological Economics, 70, 2243-2249.Download File

Kroeger T, Casey F (2007) An assessment of market-based approaches to providing ecosystem services on agricultural lands. Ecological Economics, 64, 321-332.Download File

Lant CL, Ruhl J, Kraft SE (2008) The tragedy of ecosystem services. BioScience, 58, 969-974.Download File

LaRocco GL, Deal RL (2011) Giving credit where credit is due: increasing landowner compensation for ecosystem services, Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-842. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR.Download File

Liu S, Costanza R, Farber S, Troy A (2010) Valuing ecosystem services. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1185, 54-78.Download File

Loomis J, Kroeger T, Richardson L, Casey F (2008) A benefit transfer toolkit for fish, wildlife, wetlands, and open space. A Journal of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, 7, 33-43.Download File

Mäler KG, Aniyar S, Jansson Å (2008) Accounting for ecosystem services as a way to understand the requirements for sustainable development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 9501-9506.Download File

Maltby E, Acreman MC (2011) Ecosystem services of wetlands: pathfinder for a new paradigm. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56, 1341-1359.Download File

Matta JR, Alavalapati JRR, Stainback GA (2009) Effect of conserving habitat for biodiversity on optimal management of non-industrial private forests in Florida. Journal of Forest Economics, 15, 223-235.

McConnell M, Burger L (2011) Precision conservation: a geospatial decision support tool for optimizing conservation and profitability in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 66, 347-354.Download File

Naidoo R, Balmford A, Costanza R et al. (2008) Global mapping of ecosystem services and conservation priorities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 9495-9500.Download File

Nelson E, Mendoza G, Regetz J et al. (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 4-11.Download File

Nelson E, Polasky S, Lewis DJ et al. (2008) Efficiency of incentives to jointly increase carbon sequestration and species conservation on a landscape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 9471-9476.Download File

Norgaard RB (2010) Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder. Ecological Economics, 69, 1219-1227.Download File

Olander LP, Cooley DM, Galik CS (2012) The potential role for management of US public lands in greenhouse gas mitigation and climate policy. Environmental Management, 49, 523-533.Download File

Palmer MA, Filoso S (2009) Restoration of ecosystem services for environmental markets. Science, 325, 575-576.Download File

Patton D, Bergstrom J, Covich A, Moore R (2012) National wildlife refuge wetland ecosystem service valuation model, Phase 1 Report, University of Georgia, Athens.Download File

Plummer ML (2009) Assessing benefit transfer for the valuation of ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 38-45.Download File

Postel S, Carpenter S (1997) Freshwater Ecosystem Services. In: Nature's services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems (ed Daily GC), pp 195-214. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Power AG (2010) Ecosystem services and agriculture: tradeoffs and synergies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365, 2959-2971.Download File

Raudsepp-Hearne C, Peterson GD, Tengö M et al. (2010) Untangling the environmentalist's paradox: Why is human well-being increasing as ecosystem services degrade? BioScience, 60, 576-589.Download File

Richardson L, Loomis J (2009) The total economic value of threatened, endangered and rare species: An updated meta-analysis. Ecological Economics, 68, 1535-1548.Download File

Ringold PL, Nahlik AM, Boyd J, Bernard D (2010) Report from the workshop on indicators of final ecosystem services for wetlands and estuaries, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Corvalis.Download File

Ruhl J (2010) Ecosystem services and federal public lands: start-up policy questions and research needs. FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 412. Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum.Download File

Ruhl JB, Gregg RJ (2009) Integrating ecosystem services into environmental law: a case study of wetlands mitigation banking. Stanford Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 20, FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper.Download File

Ruhl JB, Salzman J, Goodman I (2009) Implementing the new ecosystem services mandate: a catalyst for advancing science and policy. National Wetlands Newsletter, 31, 11-20.Download File

Seppelt R, Fath B, Burkhard B et al. (2011) Form follows function? Proposing a blueprint for ecosystem service assessments based on reviews and case studies. Ecological Indicators, 21, 145-154.Download File

Sierszen ME, Morrice JA, Trebitz AS, Hoffman JC (2012) A review of selected ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, 15, 92-106.Download File

*Smith N, Deal R, Kline J, Blahna D, Patterson T, Spies TA, Bennett K (2011) Ecosystem services as a framework for forest stewardship, Deschutes National Forest overview. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-852. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.Download File

*Stanton T, Echavarria M, Hamilton K, Ott C (2010) State of watershed payments: an emerging marketplace, Ecosystem Marketplace. Available online: http://www.foresttrends.org/documents/files/doc_2438.pdf.

Staudinger MD, Grimm NB, Staudt A et al. (2012) Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, Cooperative Report to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.Link

Tallis H, Kareiva P, Marvier M, Chang A (2008) An ecosystem services framework to support both practical conservation and economic development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 9457-9464.Download File

Tallis H, Polasky S (2009) Mapping and valuing ecosystem services as an approach for conservation and natural‐resource management. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1162, 265-283.Download File

Taylor LO, Liu X, Hamilton T (2012) Amenity values of proximity to national wildlife refuges, Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy. North Carolina State University., Raleigh.Download File

Termorshuizen JW, Opdam P (2009) Landscape services as a bridge between landscape ecology and sustainable development. Landscape Ecology, 24, 1037-1052.Download File

Wainger L, Mazzotta M (2011) Realizing the potential of ecosystem services: a framework for relating ecological changes to economic benefits. Environmental Management, 48, 710-733.Download File

Wenny DG, DeVault TL, Johnson MD, Kelly D, Sekercioglu CH, Tomback DF, Whelan CJ (2011) The need to quantify ecosystem services provided by birds. The Auk, 128, 1-14.Download File

Yoskowitz D, Corollo C, Beseres-Pollack J, Welder K, Santos C, Francis J (2012) Assessment of changing ecosystem services provided by marsh habitat in the Galveston Bay Region. Final Report to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Texas A&M University. Harte Reseach Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Corpus Christi.Link

Zhang W, Ricketts TH, Kremen C, Carney K, Swinton SM (2007) Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture. Ecological Economics, 64, 253-260.Download File

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The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management partners with coastal states to develop innovative partnerships and enhance management of the nation's marine and coastal resources. In addition to the Gulf of Mexico partnerships below, NOAA supports the Gulf of Mexcio Marine Protected Area Networkto enhance coordination among the agencies and organizations that manage the region's diverse marine habitats.


The Alabama Coastal Management Program uses an ecosystem approach to enhance sustainable economic development; improve public access to the coast; reduce vulnerability to natural hazards; and protect, restore, and manage coastal resources. The program also manages the state's participation in the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program to protect the coastal area's critical resources. An outstanding example of the tidal and forested wetlands of the Mobile Bay estuarine system is Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompasses more than 6,000 acres just 40 miles southeast of Mobile.


The Florida Coastal Management Program coordinates local, state and federal agency activities using existing laws to ensure that Florida's coast is as valuable to future generations as it is today. In coordination with other land protection programs, the Florida Coastal Management Program administers the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program for the state. Florida is also a strong supporter of the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System, designating more sites than any other state. The three designated Reserves in Florida are the Apalachicola NERRRookery Bay NERR, and Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas NERR.


The Louisiana Coastal Management Program is responsible for the maintenance and protection of the state's coastal wetlands. Its goal is to protect, develop, and restore or enhance the resources of the state's coastal zone. The program also works with parishes in the coastal zone to implement locally-led coastal programs. The Louisiana Coastal Management Program manages the state's participation in the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Programto protect ecologically significant areas.


The Mississippi Coastal Management Program achieves the goals of the state's Coastal Wetlands Act through the Wetlands Permitting Program and the Coastal Preserves Program. These state programs preserve coastal habitat to ensure the ecological health of Mississippi's coastal wetland ecosystems. The program also manages the state's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program to protect priority coastal habitat. Mississippi's Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserveencompasses 18,400 acres of marshes, maritime pine forests, pine savanna, salt pannes, and a range of important species.


The Texas Coastal Management Program helps ensure the long-term environmental and economic health of the Texas coast through comprehensive management of the state's coastal natural resource areas. The program also provides coastal enhancement grants to state and local resource managers to increase and improve public access, protect and restore critical areas, improve data availability, and provide public outreach activities. The state's Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Program builds on local land conservation priorities to set aside significant coastal and estuarine lands so they may be enjoyed by future generations. The Texas Coastal Bend is home to the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompases 185,708 acres just 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. The Reserve is a large complex of wetland, terrestrial, and marine environments that represents the diversity of the Western Gulf of Mexico.


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Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment

Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment

Orientation Webex on October 29, 2012


Below are presentations that I've given as the Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Liaison that may be of interest. To see presenter notes you may need to right click on the orange ballon symbol in the top left corner and select open all pop-ups.

Landscape Conservation-PGCLC August 2012 


Below are links to documents, many in draft form, developed as part of the NOAA-Gulf LCCs partnership by the Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Liaison.


Gulf Regional Science Needs_Feb 2012.pdf


Science needs for the Western Gulf_Feb 2012.pdf


 Vulnerabiltiy Assessment Data Inventory- Draft Surveys (please wait until finalized to respond to the surveys): 

Physical Variables Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JXG6JJL
Ecological Variables Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JHFJB6L
Climate Variables Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J592QH6


Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment Related Projects_May 2012.pdf


Proposed Gulf of Mexico LCC Marine Approach_June 2012.pdf


GOMA Action Plan Matrix_6-15-12.pdf


Vulnerability of Gulf Coastal Wetlands_June 202012.pdf

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Gulf Coast messages that work

The following answers to a quiz (based on a public poll) posted in the June 2013 News & Views provide insight into what kinds of communication work on the Gulf Coast:

76% of the Gulf public backs using RESTORE funding primarily for coastal restoration - test yourself on why

True or False?

1. T   F   Voters concerned about oil spill damage also recognize Gulf systems as threatened and polluted.     FALSE

2. T   F   Voters are overwhelmingly concerned about water, and protecting river water quality, dunes and beaches.  TRUE

3. T   F   Voters generally do not recognize the value of natural systems as protective barriers along the coast.  FALSE

4. T   F   "Natural infrastructure" is not a good term to use when referring to Gulf ecosystems.  TRUE

5. T   F   "Resilience" is something that people recognize & understand when it comes to themselves, but not the land.  TRUE

6. T   F    Cultural connections to the Gulf are strong, but not an effective argument for conservation.  FALSE

7. T   F   Climate change is generally recognized as affecting Gulf ecosystems and important in conservation planning.  FALSE

8. T   F   Local messengers on the "front lines," such as firefighters and local scientists, make the best messengers.   TRUE

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GCPO LCC Communications Strategy & Other Documents

Communications Strategy

The GCPO LCC Communications Strategy was approved by the Steering Committee at the April 2012 meeting.  You can download it here.

Communications Strategy with appendices

Communications Strategy without appendices 

National LCC Network Communications

LCC Network Strategic Plan

The National Branding Guide for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.  The guide has been approved for use by LCC coordinators and national staff. It is intended as a tool to promote consistency in crafting text and visual elements for LCC communications. It is also a living document, so will continue to be refined and updated to meet the needs of communications staff throughout the network. Please share and distribute as needed. 

LCC Frequently Asked Questions

General LCC Fact Sheet (Sep 2010)

GCPO LCC Annual Reports

GCPO LCC 2013 Annual Report

GCPO LCC 2012 Annual Report

GCPO LCC 2011 Annual Report

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Southeast Communications Network

If you handle communications for any conservation partners, partnerships, or managed areas in the Southeast, please CONSIDER JOINING THE SOUTHEAST COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK.  Use it to share important items that deserve a wider audience than you can currently reach.

The Network helps communications professionals and agency personnel do their jobs by rapidly spreading word of priority or actionable information to many people in the Southeast conservation community, using existing channels for communication (such as organization newsletters, websites, list serves).  The Network exists to promote efficient and effective landscape scale communication - across jurisdictions and from top to bottom - concerning high priority and/or actionable conservation information and opportunities that transcend organizational boundaries.  Eventually, the Network may also be used to communicate with “external audiences,” such as stakeholders, educators or the public. 

For more information please see the invitation and charter below.  To join or inquire further, email elliott.gregg@gmail.com.  

Southeast Communications Network invitation (June 2012) 

Communications Network Charter

On August 7, 2013, a national group of LCC and CSC communications professionals met online using an innovative Meetingsphere technology to capture the group's thoughts, insights and questions relative to communications needs on a regional and national level.  As a trial tool to assist communicators spread across the country to share information online, a National LCC & CSC Communicators group has been created, where you can view all the notes, background materials, and presentations.

Notes from the Aug 7, 2013 meeting 

The national meeting builds on a regional meeting held on April 3, 2013. (see below)

Read more…

The following comes from Anita Davis of the Earth to Sky Interagency Partnership at NASA:


You may have noticed that there has been a fair amount of attention given to climate in 2012. Much of it has been because of the release of NOAA’s annual State of the Climate report, and the linkages that are being made between extreme weather events of 2011 and climate.  The State of the Climate is always reported in a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Association. What’s new this year is a complementary journal article that seems to be drawing a lot of attention. 

You can access the entire pdf of the State of the Climate here

NOAA has also done a nice job of summarizing the report in a series of short easily accessible articles and interactives at 

The complementary article, Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective has been published by the American Meteorological Association, in the July 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The paper was produced by NOAA and UK Met Offices scientists, as well as numerous colleagues around the world. In it the authors examine six extreme weather events worldwide and discuss the relationship of climate change (vs. natural variability) to the events. To download the article go to
 Here’s their major Findings:

  • Determining  the causes of extreme events remains difficult. While scientists cannot trace  specific events to climate change with absolute certainty, new and continued  research help scientists understand how the probability of extreme events change  in response to global warming.
  • La  Niña-related heat waves, like that experienced in Texas in 2011, are now 20  times more likely to occur during La Niña years today than La Niña years fifty  years ago.     
  • The  UK experienced a very warm November 2011 and a very cold December 2010. In analyzing  these two very different events, UK scientists uncovered interesting changes in  the odds. Cold Decembers are now half as likely to occur now versus fifty years  ago, whereas warm Novembers are now 62 times more likely.    
  • Climate  change cannot be shown to have played any role in the 2011 floods on the Chao  Phraya River that flooded Bangkok, Thailand. Although the flooding was unprecedented,  the amount of rain that fell in the river “catchment” area was not very  unusual. Other factors, such as changes in reservoir policies and increased  construction on the flood plain, were found most relevant in setting the scale  of the disaster.

If you are curious about how the press addressed all this, here are a few links to get you started:

PBS NewsHour

ABC News led with a report interviewing Heidi Cullen and ended with their
weather editor, Sam Champion, calling for reductions in GHGs (you may need to scroll through the list of available stories)

links extreme weather to climate change

NY Times Article
Read more…

Conservation Communication Tools & Resources

The Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia, National Academy of Science, "The Science of Science Communication" presentations available on YouTube.

UC Davis "Digital Story Training Guide" - for private landowners and others with a story to tell

The Scientist Videographer is a blog created by Karen L. McKee, Ph.D., Research Ecologist with the USGS at the National Wetlands Research Center and an accomplished science videographer - to help communicators learn more about how to make videos that interpret science.

Networking Tools:

The Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and working groups within it, operate through virtual networks when in-person meetings are not possible.  Here are tools to assist with collaboration:


Chat: have an online conversation with others within the LCC who are logged in at the same time

Doodle poll:  obtain a link that allows many people to designate their best times for a meeting or conference call. Free and can be used without joining.

Typewith.me: another web-based means of collaborating on the development of documents.

Google docs: share large documents online and co-edit - accessible only with gmail addresses.

Dropbox: another way to store and share large files - can share selectively or create a link for everyone to access a large document from "the cloud" - the free version limits storage space.

Meeting Sphere: software for net conferencing that includes easy-to-use polling, brainstorming, and audience analysis tools.  Free 1-month trials, then by subscription only.  This software was used by the SALCC in their award-winning process for engaging their Steering Committee.

Anymeeting:  Host a webinar or video conference for free.  Very quick and easy to set up - great as backup if paid service is unavailable!  Service is paid for through small ads that pop up occasionally and can be deleted quickly.

Read more…