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Coordinator Highlights Landscape Conservation Design Effort for Emerging Risks Roundtable Discussion

Appalachian LCC Coordinator Dr. Jean Brennan was an invited panelist and speaker at a roundtable discussion put on by the National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis and hosted at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The roundtable brought together a variety of experts with diverse viewpoints and experiences from across multiple disciplines focused on emerging risks and measured responses. Jean took part in a roundtable discussion on “Building Adaptive Capacity into Conservation and Natural Resource Management Plans.” She highlighted the work of the Appalachian LCC Landscape Conservation Design as a new model; one working with partners to deliver actionable science to resource managers based on predictive modeling and tools, and delivering these through conservation networks to enhance capacity for on-the-ground conservation.

The LCC has focused on a set of emerging risks (energy development, water control and stress, urban expansion) and is promoting a Landscape Conservation Design as the framework to deliver or enable appropriate measured responses. The Design is a series of maps or data layers that illustrate the location of key focal landscapes and priority resources that can inform public land managers and private landowners about the quality, quantity, and location of habitat needed to protect biodiversity. In developing the Design, the LCC worked with non-traditional sources of information (such as recreational cavers for mapping cave and karst needs) and identified research gaps (for example reliance on soil moisture data was driven by what was available at the right scale and resolution; had to develop own stream classification system).

Jean stressed at the roundtable that “A core part of any research focused on decision-making and societal responses has to make sure those science-based responses are implemented. We must recognize that responses are local, but landscape-level collaboration is required if we are to achieve conservation in the 21st Century to secure healthy and resilient landscapes across the region.”

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