Ensuring conservation memories for the future
Watching the sun rise behind the misty green mountains in the Pacific Northwest…
Watching hawks lazily turn circles as they ride a thermal high into a blue sky dotted with bright white clouds…
Or listening to a loon break the silence of twilight on a small pond in Maine – these are moments I carry with me from growing up in America’s great outdoors hunting, fishing, rafting, camping and hiking.
These memories remind me every day to make sure the work that I am doing will help someone else to experience a lifetime of moments like these.
Working to conserve, protect and enhance the fish, wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people is a pretty big job. That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works closely with other federal agencies, states and non-governmental organizations.
As threats to fish, wildlife and their habitats increase in quantity and scale, the challenges to conserve, protect and enhance them are more than any single organization or agency can tackle alone. Thinking about how they could work with partners to set common goals and target conservation work more strategically, the Service developed a framework for their operation called strategic habitat conservation. SHC starts with setting a biological goal, then planning and designing an action strategy to achieve that goal, doing the conservation work on the ground, and monitoring the results of the work to see how the strategy and actions could be improved to better achieve the biological goal.
In order to collaborate more closely with partners, the Service is helping to lead a national network of 22 landscape conservation cooperatives (LCCs). They provide a vehicle for states, tribes, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities and other conservation partners like bird joint ventures and fish habitat partnerships to agree on common goals for natural and cultural resources. There are no other conservation entities that bring all resource management partners together to share science and conservation management needs and information to collectively build landscapes that will support all of America’s natural and cultural resources.
With the help of the Science Applications program, the Northeast Region has been working hard to integrate the SHC framework with the work in the region that is already underway, establish the North Atlantic and Appalachian LCC, connect programs through the Conservation Science Team and shared science and collaborative planning, and provide support for science excellence, including peer review.
During the month of February, our blog will highlight some of the folks working in and with the Science Applications program. The program is helping to connect the Service’s scientific and partnership efforts with conservation actions so that the fish, wildlife and habitats that make up the Northeast landscape will be around for many generations, and memories, to come. Check it out!