Sky Island Alliance (SIA) is a non-governmental organizational that works to protect and restore the rich natural heritage of native species and habitats in the Sky Island Region. We work with volunteers, scientists, land-owners, public officials, and government agencies to establish protected areas, restore healthy landscapes, and promote public appreciation of the region’s unique biological diversity. Because of our long-standing collaborative relationships with land managers and our large corps of skilled volunteers, we were in a unique position to spearhead this project.
SIA initiated this springs inventory, assessment and management planning project to develop baseline information on springs in the Sky Island Region in order to improve their stewardship in the face of climate change. This baseline information will inform interested agencies and citizens on the condition of these resources and on management actions that can be taken to enhance their resilience in the face of climate change.
This project began in September of 2011 and was completed in September of 2013. The specific goals of the project were to:
(1) work collaboratively with land and resource managers to identify priority areas in which to conduct springs inventories and assessments;
(2) conduct springs inventories and assessments, using trained volunteers, professional staff, and partner personnel;
(3) develop a regional database for housing and serving historic data from cooperating agencies along with new data generated through this project; and
(4) use assessments of current springs management in conjunction with land managers and experts to develop climate change adaptation strategies, decision-support tools, and recommendations for management of priority areas.
This project sought to inventory and assess spring resources in the Sky Island Region, develop an online Springs Inventory Database to house historic and newly collected data, and develop methodologies for a citizen science volunteer effort to inventory, assess, and monitor these waters. We worked collaboratively with land and resource managers to identify priority hydrogeologic areas in which to conduct spring assessments and collect data on the location and other attributes of springs. We worked with the Spring Stewardship Institute to develop inventory and assessment methodologies that capture information most important to managers while being accessible to trained volunteers; and collected new data on priority springs in the region.
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