A download link for the report and its appendices is below ("USFWS 2015 Assessing the Condition and Climate Resilience of Collaborative Conservation Priority Areas in the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion.pdf"). For those who don't need the appendices or who have a slow internet connection, a version with the report only is also provided ("USFWS 2015 Report only no appendices.pdf"). The scorecard appendix is also posted separately ("USFWS_2015_Appendix_A_PCA_Scorecards.pdf").
A companion report describing the Ecological Integrity Assessment and its results is here.
An addendum report with scorecards and CCVA results for the ALI's Priority Linkage Areas (PLAs) is here (the report available on this page is focused on Priority Core Areas [PCAs]).
A file geodatabase containing the PLAs and PCAs along with all attributes presented in the scorecards is here.
A file geodatabase containing the input raster models and other pre-existing data products that were used to derive the scorecard metrics is here.
This report builds from a body of work conducted to support conservation planning and design for the Arid Lands Initiative (ALI) in the Columbia Plateau ecoregion. Previous work identified a suite of habitats and species along with their associated viability and stressors (ALI 2014a), as well as a portfolio of Priority Core Areas (PCAs) (ALI, 2014b) and high priority connectivity corridors (WHCWG, 2012). This previous work represents a design that, if realized, would improve protection of the current distributions of species, habitats and connectivity corridors. This current report describes methods and results for further assessing present and future condition of these PCAs. This project can be seen as an intermediate step between the identification of priority areas and the ultimate goal of designing and implementing conservation delivery strategies for the ALI partnership. The outputs of this project are intended to guide decisions for strategy development and implementation.
A spatially explicit climate change vulnerability assessment (CCVA) was conducted for the ALI core priority areas. The primary question the analysis was designed to answer is: are particular priority areas expected to be relatively resilient to climate change into the future? To answer this question, existing climate change information was synthesized into a fuzzy logic-based decision support tool. This study shows that PCAs across the ecoregion will have varying levels of climate exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Knowledge of these characteristics will help the partnership customize strategies to particular areas. For example, habitats in certain areas might benefit from “climate smart” adaptation strategies.
The second component of this project synthesizes the results of the CCVA with key metrics of current landscape integrity. The outputs are a series of “scorecards” for each PCA that summarize elements of connectivity, climate change vulnerability, and current condition, which was modeled using NatureServe’s Vista decision support tool. The scorecards are designed to provide decision makers with a quick, visual display of relevant information for conservation strategy development.
Since 2011, this project, with funding from the Great Northern LCC, has achieved its initial goal as a pilot project for implementing the “decision support” components of Landscape Conservation Design (LCD). LCD is a multifaceted process that requires a suite of decision support tools, or a “toolkit.” The conclusion of this report identifies some lessons learned and best practices towards development of this toolkit.
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