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We will develop SMART-SLEUTH, an advanced spatially explicit modeling framework designed to augment the current SLEUTH model with sophisticated smart-growth capabilities. Based on the latest version of SLEUTH, we will create an open-source GIS-enabled software package that will implement SMART-SLEUTH with advanced modules and tools for evaluating, predicting, and visualizing smart growth scenarios and outcomes. In this software package, a more user friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI), a multi-level automatic calibration approach built on machine learning algorithms, and new spatial landscape metrics for quantifying land change patterns will provide enhanced support for complex model configuration, calibration,...
We propose to support the revision and implementation of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s Conservation Blueprint by integrating its Ecosystem Indicators into a structured decision support system that makes explicit how the Indicators are interrelated and how these will respond to management and policy interventions aimed at improving the conservation status of the South Atlantic region. Our specific objectives are to (1) develop ecological production functions that predict theecological impacts of selected conservation actions relative to current conditions, and to propagate these impacts through other affected systems or functions; (2) codify protocols for updating and curating geospatial...
This project will conduct a vulnerability assessment, develop climate-smart adaptation strategies and actions, and generate implementation plans for focal habitats of the South and Central Coast regions of the CALCC, with a specific focus on four Southern California National Forests (Angeles, San Bernardino, Cleveland, Los Padres).Specific project goals include:(1) Assess the regional vulnerabilities and resiliencies of focal habitats to climate change and non-climate change stressors.(2) Generate climate-informed maps to identify how vulnerabilities vary spatially to help prioritize conservation areas and activities.(3) Identify implementable climate-smart conservation strategies and actions to conserve priority...
Native Nations face unique challenges related to climate change, many of which are detailed in recent reports as part of the U.S. National Climate Assessment (Bennett et al. 2014; Hiza Redsteer et al. 2013). Native Americans have a deep connection to the natural environment within which their livelihoods, cultural identity, and spiritual practices are rooted. Changes to hydrologic regimes, landscapes, and ecosystems, in combination with socio-economic and political factors, amplify tribal vulnerabilities to climate change. In the Southwest, tribes are already experiencing a range of impacts that are at least partially related to climate change. They include serious water supply and water quality issues in the...
Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Create a Version 2.0 Simple Viewer for the South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint that includes updates, additional data (category priorities, actions, justifications, ownership, and partner data), and dynamic charting of indicators and presentation of ecosystem and analysis unit aggregate indicator scores. Continue to refine and improve the South Atlantic Conservation Planning Atlas ( Provide technical guidance and recommendations about how to structure data and future Viewer platforms to achieve specific functions for future versions of the Blueprint hosted within an interactive viewer and the South Atlantic Conservation Planning Atlas.
The Souris River watershed spans more than 23,000 square miles (61,000 square kilometers) across Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Manitoba. The funding will support a cross-jurisdictional study led by Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Province of Manitoba researchers that will combine current and historic wetland inventories and examine water quality trends across watersheds with varying levels of wetland cover. Non-point source pollution from the Souris River watershed has been known to impact water quality throughout the watershed including the adjoining Assiniboine River and Lake Winnipeg.
This project used species distribution modeling to assess the risk to habitat change under various climate change scenarios for rare plants. To predict the response of rare plant species to climate change, the project modeled the current distribution of the species using climate and environmental data (e.g., soils, disturbance, land-use), use these models to predict the species distribution given climate change, calculate current and future range size, calculate the amount of overlap of predicted future distribution with current distribution, and assess where barriers and protected areas are located with reference to the change in species distribution. Given the results of the distribution modeling, each species...
Our project focuses on understanding patterns and causes of recent population declines in the Haleakala silversword that are associated with decreasing precipitation, increasing temperature, and related climate changes in Hawaii’s high-elevation ecosystems. The Haleakala silversword is an ideal taxon with which to assess impacts from climate change. It forms the foundation of a diverse alpine community and likely reflects wider ecological changes; it is already exhibiting patterns of mortality consistent with an upslope shifting distribution; and its high visibility and symbolic status make it unmatched in educational potential. Building on extensive research infrastructure, we propose to collect the demographic...
Final Report - Executive Summary: This final project report is prepared to summarize the research project titled “Assessing evapotranspiration rate changes for proposed restoration of the forested uplands of the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC)” for the Desert LCC of the Bureau of Reclamation as a requirement for closing out the project. This report includes the scope of work, summary of research project, results, and conclusions. Among all of the components of the terrestrial water cycle, evapotranspiration (ET) consumes the largest amount of water. Accurate estimation of ET is very important to understand the influence of ET to the hydrologic response of recharge and runoff processes in the water...
This project had two primary goals: 1) To develop a process for integrating data from multiple sources to improve predictions of climate impacts for wildlife species; and 2) To provide data on climate and related hydrological change, fire behavior under future climates, and species’ distributions for use by researchers and resource managers. We present within this report the process used to integrate species niche models, fire simulations, and vulnerability assessment methods and provide species’ reports that summarize the results of this work. Species niche model analysis provides information on species’ distributions under three climate scenarios and time periods. Niche model analysis allows us to estimate the...
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently completed an unprecedented assessment of almost 14,000 dams in the Northeastern United States. The Northeast Aquatic Connectivity (NAC) project allows fisheries managers and other interested parties to assess dams at multiple scales based on their potential to benefit anadromous and resident fish species if removed or bypassed. This work has continued, with support from NOAA and USFWS, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where data refinements and further analysis have produced a web map and tool that allow users to interactively prioritize dams for mitigation at multiple scales and with varying criteria.The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) has recently completed...
FY2015This project assesses the efficacy of ACK55, a naturally occurring bacterium that decreases invasive annual grasses by up to 70% on test sites. Working with the USDA, USFWS and the Great Basin Institute, researchers plan to treat ten, 1-acre plots on private lands within sage-grouse Biologically Significant Areas to determine the efficacy of ACK55 in warm and dry soils.
These data represent 1 sq. mile Hexagons and are derived from the Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool. The hexagons have been attributed with summary values from the datasets described above. Field names correspond to the number datasets above as follows: {1:’wetland_deds’, 2:’wetland_ceds’, 3:’cropland_ceds’, 4:’lasp_grsp_casp_suit’, 5:’lasp_grsp_suit’, 6:’riparian_suit’, 7:’mean_sat_thick_ft’, 8:’tillage_suit’, 9:’wind_suit’, 10:’ann_aq_deplet_ft’, 11:’wetland_deds_2040’, 12:’wetland_ceds_2040’, 13:’lbgrasslands_2017’, 14:’lbgrasslands_2022’, 15:’lbgrasslands_2027’, 16:’mean_sat_thick_2050_ft’, 17:’tillage_suit_2050’}. Zonal statistic attribution methods are as follows: {1:’SUM’, 2:’SUM’,...
The tillage suitability product is a per-crop, per-pixel (30 square-meters) model representation of the predicted probability (0.00-1.00) that an area can support commodity crop development for a suite of crop types commonly grown in the LCD landscape. The values for each grid cell are interpreted as a probability, with any value greater-than 0.50 suggesting an area should be suitable for crop development based on observations of 2.5 million farmed areas around the LCD geography. To demonstrate composite suitability (“tillage”) for all crops, we added the individual probabilities for our modeled from cover classes (cereals, corn, cotton, and beans), which represents the overall proportion of votes for “crop” vs....
These data represent areas defined as large block grasslands according to a model developed by PLJV (McLachlan 2008). The model is based on literature derived Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat preferences and considers habitat composition within a 2,000 ha area. Any pixel with more than 58% grass, less than 36% cropland, less than 2% woodland/ shrubland, less than 5 % secondary roads, and no 4 lane roads within a 2,000 ha surrounding area is counted as a large block grassland pixel.
A new study and online mapping tool by the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and The Nature Conservancy are intended to inform discussions among conservation agencies and organizations, industry, policy makers, regulators and the public on how to protect essential natural resources while realizing the benefits of increased domestic energy production.
Provisional Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan (TN-SWAP) terrestrial habitat priorities versus results of the population growth model developed by the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, 2008, converted to percent projected developed landcover in the year 2040. Spatial growth model was developed using population growth projections from the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research (UT-CBER), county urban growth boundaries, 2000 census blocks, and various ancillary datasets.
To enhance the chances of restoring and protecting Puerto Rico’s beaches by synthesizing guidelines and procedures on beach characterization and profiling, planting, fertilization, irrigation, maintenance, monitoring, etc. and working to identify, inventory, and prioritize beaches that need and can accommodate stabilization with vegetation, or can become sources of plants for nursery propagation and planting. Information will include all permit requirements for beach restoration projects, including those associated with beaches used by sea turtles for nesting. Within the selected prioritized beaches the CAT will develop an education & awareness program, to demonstrate benefits, address needs & expectations and promote...
Monarch butterfly and other pollinators are in trouble. Monarch butterfly habitat— including milkweed host plants and nectar food sources—has declined drastically throughout most of the United States. Observed overwinter population levels have also exhibited a long-term downward trend, suggesting a strong relationship between habitat loss and monarch population declines. Preliminary research results from a U.S. Geological Survey led effort indicate that we need a comprehensive conservation strategy that includes all land types in order to stabilize monarch populations at levels necessary to adequately minimize extinction risk—urban areas will likely play a critical role. A Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) tool...

map background search result map search result map Assessing and Mapping Rare Plant Species Vulnerability to Climate Change Understanding how climate change is affecting Hawaii's high-elevation ecosystems: an assessment of the long-term viability of Haleakala silverswords and associated biological communities Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Report and Publications: Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Urban Monarch Chicago Tools Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Dunes Conservation Action Team Future Tillage Suitability 2050 Conservation Parcels Scored - Rio Mora Crucial Habitat Assessment Large Block Grasslands 2017 Provisional Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan Potential Urban Growth Assessment of ACK55 as a Biocontrol of Invasive Annual Grasses in Nevada Assessment of ACK55 as a Biocontrol of Invasive Annual Grasses in Nevada Urban Monarch Chicago Tools Dunes Conservation Action Team Provisional Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan Potential Urban Growth Future Tillage Suitability 2050 Large Block Grasslands 2017 Report and Publications: Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Conservation Parcels Scored - Rio Mora Crucial Habitat Assessment Assessing and Mapping Rare Plant Species Vulnerability to Climate Change Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic