The Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HOTR), on behalf of its High Divide Collaborative partners, seeks support to identify and evaluate future landscape configurations that address the needs of local communities while conserving the High Divides unique landscape resources. In this landscape we emphasize wildlife connectivity between large protected core areas: Yellowstone, the Crown, and central Idaho (See attached map). This project builds on our prior GNLCC-funded project to deliver the latest science in connectivity and climate response and earlier stakeholder identification of lands of high conservation value (HOTR 2010). This project takes the next step by coupling socio-economic data and trends with conservation modeling in a holistic landscape conservation design process.
FY2015and FY2016 Objectives:The goal of this project is to address a lack of knowledge about the sustainability of future landscape conditions created by current policy and conservation decisions. By addressing this knowledge gap we expect to provide an understanding of the cumulative effects of different stressors and decisions and influence decision-making and conservation action.
The High Divide partners intend to benefit from developing future landscape scenarios to inform conservation and restoration actions in the region. The task at hand is to provide information to stakeholders to guide decision-making and on-the-ground conservation. The High Divide is important both as a stand-alone landscape for fish and wildlife and a vital and vast linkage area of importance to function of the entire Great Northern landscape. HOTR will track the effectiveness of this project by monitoring the conservation actions that result and through ongoing engagement of the High Divide Collaborative to refine and adapt conservation decisions to achieve desirable futures.