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Goals for Stakeholder Engagement in Focal Landscape

The Appalachian LCC is engaging in an integrated, multi-scale conservation planning and design initiative throughout its geography. Phase I of this research identified five different conservation design elements. The largest element is made up of regionally connected cores. These cores are broad areas of regional significance (i.e., irreplaceability) that have high internal landscape connectivity. The LCC has strategically decided to target two of these core areas as part of its ongoing effort in Phase II of this process to reach out and collaborate with local partners working in these cores. These two areas include the Tennessee River Basin and western Pennsylvania.

Background:


Phase II Science Goals/Objectives:

Phase II of the Appalachian LCC Conservation Planning and Design initiative aimed to improve the overall design of Phase I by including, among other things, a focus on aquatic priorities. Most notably, the design will focus broadly on aquatic integrity and connectivity.

Phase II Outreach Goals/Objectives:

Phase II aimed to begin the conservation dialogue in two regional cores with relevant conservation planning partners. This dialogue informed Phase II science products as well as highlighted opportunity areas for science delivery, conservation action, and identifying further science needs.

Phase II Stakeholder Meeting Vision:

1.  Local Partners & Stakeholders

  • Reviewed Priority Resources for LCC to determine if individual data layers were useful to partners in TRB geography?
  • Reviewed LCD Phase I Design Elements to refine local cores and local build-outs to maximize cultural resonance and identify additional opportunity areas (both geographically and with partners of existing projects).
  • Gathered comprehensive list of threats to these design elements and best available data on threats.
  • Discussed framework for how best to mitigate these threats

i. Conservation Actions
ii. Planning Horizon

2. Modeled Development & Engagement

  • To answer where are the existing freshwater metrics partners are using to address fish & mussel diversity in this area?

i. Data availability

  • Discussed multiple available metrics of aquatic integrity. Which, if any of these are partners using?

i. Strengths/weaknesses

  • What was missing from Phase I design process (spatially & conceptually)?
  • What were the major barriers to aquatic connectivity in this region?

3. Structural, Hydrological, Geomorphic

4. Gathered best available barrier datasets


Things Needed From Regional Coordinators:

1. Census of Projects/Data that addressed meeting component #2

  • Summary provided to participants and science team in advance
  • Recommendations (if possible) based on conservation inertia
  • Identified Stakeholders for meeting component # 1 (managers) and # 2 (technical) to form working group
  • Meeting planning/facilitation
  • Continued interaction with working group

Expertise Invited:

  • LCD Phase I technical team members working in area
  • Mix of species level and systems level experts
  • Partners with existing spatially-explicit prioritization projects underway or completed in geography
  • Expertise in Aquatic Connectivity and/or Integrity metrics at Broad Spatial Extents
  • Managers who use conservation plans to make local decisions
  • Conservation Planners/Landscape Ecologists
  • Data managers/technical experts for organizations
  • Systems-level, big thinkers


The vision for Regional Cores in the Future:

LCC-wide conservation planning must be iterative, integrative, and multi-scaled. While the LCC as a whole can and should continue to refine its conservation design at the landscape scale, the regional cores in this geography are known important areas and considered foundational to conservation efforts for the LCC. Thus, it is important that similar and synchronous conservation planning and design efforts be nested within each regional core. These efforts will operate across the finer scales necessary to inform local decisions. Locally informed, these nested conservation designs and planning efforts can simlultaneously aid in the refinement of the landcape-scale prioritization by working with the LCC to update needs and identify opportunities.

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