Many of the environmental issues of today transcend state lines and organizational areas of responsibility. This is especially true in the Appalachian region, which is entering an era of monumental conservation challenges. The Appalachian Mountains and the rivers they serve have and are continuing to experience environmental impacts associated with energy development, urban expansion, and transformation of agricultural lands. This has resulted in the fragmentation of habitats, genetic isolation of species, dramatic changes in the water cycle, and the expansion of harmful invasive species. The effects of these threats will be exacerbated by emerging land-use changes as well as a changing climate.
The scale of the changes require conservation and natural resource managers to rethink conservation planning and delivery. Conservation planning needs a shift from the traditional localized and single‑species approaches towards a broader, more comprehensive scale to protect species, habitats, and ecosystems in large, interconnected areas of conserved lands. Enhanced conservation delivery can be achieved through greater coordination and more strategic investment of scarce resources, as well as the development and application of scientific information and decision-support tools. Given observed and projected impacts of land transformation, expanding energy development, and changing climatic conditions, it is clear this approach can support current populations, provide for ongoing evolutionary processes, and respond to environmental changes.
The formation of the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) serves as a forum to bring conservation scientists and managers from various organizations and institutions together to identify shared areas of interest, develop the tools and products necessary for action, and help coordinate conservation delivery. The Appalachian LCC is one of 22 LCCs that make up the National LCC Network. These Cooperatives are applied science and management partnerships initiated in 2009 by the Interior Department bureaus and others involved in natural resource conservation and management.
The Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative is a science and management partnership to protect the valued resources and biological diversity of the Appalachian region, sustain the benefits provided by healthy and resilient ecosystems to human communities, and help natural systems adapt to large landscape-level stressors and those stressors that may be magnified by the changing climate.
Ecological Integrity. Environmental Benefits. Sustainable Wildlife Populations.
The Mission of the Appalachian LCC is to achieve sustainable landscape-level conservation in Appalachia through partnerships, shared resources, enhanced science-based management capacity, landscape-level planning, and support for conservation actions and research as part of a national network.