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EPA Accepts First GHG Reporting Data - Agency launches electronic GHG reporting tool

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching a new tool to allow 28 industrial sectors to submit their 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution data electronically. Prior to being finalized, more than1,000 stakeholders, including industry associations, states and NGOs tested the electronic GHG Reporting Tool (e-GGRT) to ensure clarity and user-friendliness.

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Golden-winged Warbler Habitat: Best Management Practices

Golden-winged Warbler Habitat: Best Management Practices

The goal of this BMP is to present management prescriptions to forest managers interested in providing breeding habitat for Golden-winged Warblers through management actions associated with timber harvesting. We provide a science-based approach in an adaptive management framework to understanding breeding habitat use of Golden-winged Warblers across a range of timber harvest prescriptions in Pennsylvania and Maryland. This document is intended for use by state and private foresters, biologists, and other land managers. We anticipate that this BMP is the first document in a series that will address management of other early successional habitat used by Golden-winged Warblers including old fields, reclaimed strip mines, scrub oak barrens, and aspen cuts.

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Freshwater Mussels of the Powell River, Virginia and Tennessee: Abundance and Distribution in a Biodiversity Hotspot

Freshwater Mussels of the Powell River, Virginia and Tennessee: Abundance and Distribution in a Biodiversity Hotspot

Historically, the Powell River had a diverse freshwater mussel fauna of 46 species. Various surveys conducted over the past century have recorded a decline in mussel densities and diversity throughout much of the river, due to historical and on-going anthropogenic impacts. In 2008 and 2009, random timed-search, systematic search, and quadrat sampling of 21 sites were completed to document species richness, relative abundance, density, and size-class structure of resident mussel populations. We recorded 19 species from 18 sites, including 5 endangered species during quadrat sampling efforts. he mussel fauna of the lower Powell River continues to represent one of the most diverse in the United States. Outside of the Powell River, only 2 or 3 populations remain for most of the listed species extant in the river. Given these qualities, the Powell River deserves recognition as a location for focused conservation efforts to protect its diverse mussel assemblage.

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Web Survey Report Conducted with AppLCC Conservation Experts

Answers from conservation experts throughout the Appalachian LCC region regarding partner organization's role within the LCC, important goals to address, how to measure success, and more information that was instrumental in developing the Work Plan.

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Community Engagement on Climate Response Decisions – The COAST Model

In this session of the Security and Sustainability Forum, Sam Merrill, professor at the Muske School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, and president of Catalysis Adaptation Partners will demonstrate COAST (COastal Adaptation to Sea level rise Tool)

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National Fish, Wildlife, & Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy

The purpose of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is to inspire and enable natural resource administrators, elected officials, and other decision makers to take action to adapt to a changing climate. Adaptation actions are vital to sustaining the nation’s ecosystems and natural resources — as well as the human uses and values that the natural world provides.

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Discovering Species - Just a Click Away

Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation or BISON is the only system of its kind; a unique, web-based Federal resource for finding species in the U. S. and territories. Its size is unprecedented, offering more than 100 million mapped records of nearly every living species nationwide and growing. And the vast majority of the records are specific locations, not just county or state records.

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5-Year Work Plan Full Report

5-Year Work Plan Full Report

This report represents the result of a 3-day Workshop of the Cooperative Steering Committee and Key Partners to produce a collaborative, integrated, and science-driven 5-Year Work Plan. It will serve as our guide in moving the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (AppLCC) forward as an organization and decision-making body charged to advance the efforts of the broader conservation community in addressing large-scale environmental and climate impacts. Given its charge of managing LCC-allocated funds and integrating its Members' collective resources toward conservation actions, the Work Plan helps direct the energies and focus of the AppLCC toward achievement of the Goals and Objectives identified by the assembled conservation leaders.

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Web Survey Report Conducted with AppLCC Conservation Experts

Answers from conservation experts throughout the Appalachian LCC region regarding partner organization's role within the LCC, important goals to address, how to measure success, and more information that was instrumental in developing the Work Plan.

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Dettmers, Randy

I work on conservation planning (biological foundation and landscape design) for birds of conservation concern, with a focus on landbirds, as well as designing and implementing monitoring programs to track population status of such species and evaluate the success of conservation actions for these species.

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Work Plan Section A

Provides an overview of the Appalachian LCC, the organization's mission and vision, guiding principles, business processes, and operational measures.

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Work Plan Section B

Details the four major goals of the Appalachian LCC over the next five years. Includes the specific objectives within each goal and tasks deemed necessary to achieve these objectives.

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Work Plan Section C

This section provides staff recommendations on tasks requiring more staffing or funding support, or in some cases modification, to achieve.

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Work Plan Glossary

Glossary of Terms used throughout the Work Plan.

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2012 Science Needs Portfolio

A group of over 150 invited researchers and managers representing a diverse cross-section of expertise and affiliations were assembled to identify the science information needs of Appalachia in order to effectively address the conservation challenges and opportunities across the landscape. The resulting comprehensive cataloguing or “Science Needs Portfolio” was developed to serve as a guiding framework, critical to help facilitate and support conservation planning, delivery, and applied research as well as monitoring efforts across the Appalachian LCC.

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Full Proposal - Development of a hydrologic foundation and flow-ecology relationships for monitoring riverine resources in the Marcellus Shale region

This project proposes to develop models that predict ecological responses to flow alteration within the Marcellus Shale region of the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The project will use the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) approach to develop a hydrologic foundation and flow-ecology relationships as well as predict future impacts associated with increased water withdrawals within the Marcellus Shale region.

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Full Proposal - A Stream Classification System for the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative

The goal of this project is to develop a hierarchical classification for stream and river systems within the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). This classification system will identify and consistently map ecologically similar types of rivers and streams using a flexible hierarchical set of geomorphic and hydrologic variables deemed appropriate for classification by the participating states and relevant to the spatial scale of management.

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Full Proposal - Support for Understanding Land Use and Climate Change in the Appalachian Landscape

This project compiles and reviews existing climate change vulnerability assessments, compares and assesses the methodologies and criteria, noting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each, then recommends the most efficient, effective, and appropriate methods for adoption by the Appalachian LCC.

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Lee, Danny

Lee, Danny

Danny is Director of the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center of the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station in Asheville, NC. He lead a diverse team of reearchers working to develop tools and information needed to detect, assess, and predict environmental treats to eastern forests.

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Forestlands Best Management Practices for Golden-winged Warblers

Forestlands Best Management Practices for Golden-winged Warblers

Combing through habitat literature and conducting two years of surveys for the presence of Golden-winged Warblers at forest stands, the AMJV and partners developed best management practices for providing breeding habitat for Golden-winged Warblers through timber harvesting.

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Full Proposal: Assessing Future Energy Development Across the Appalachian Mountains

Scientists will employ land use change build-out scenaria for future energy development demand to quantify future impacts on forest habitats across the Appalachian LCC. We propose to create maps of wind, oil and gas, and coal development potential for the entire study area and use these maps and published projections from federal and state land management agencies to model future build-out scenaria.

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Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources

The President's Climate and Natural Resources Priority Agenda is the result of an interagency process to inventory and assess current policies, programs, and regulations related to climate change adaptation. The Agenda builds upon the robust climate change adaptation work already accomplished by Federal agencies and identifies significant actions moving forward. It specifically mentions how Federal agencies working to address ecosystem management issues through LCCs and other multi-stakeholder bodies will work with partners to select flagship geographic regions for which they will identify priority areas for conservation, restoration, or other investments to build resilience in vulnerable regions, enhance carbon storage capacity, and support management needs. Within 24 months, these agencies and their partners will have identified and mapped the initial list of priority areas within each of the selected geographic landscapes or regions.

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Operations - 5-Year Work Plan Introduction

Includes the Preface, Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, and Executive Summary to the Work Plan.

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5-Year Work Plan

This report represents the result of a 3-day Workshop of the Cooperative's Steering Committee and key Partners to produce a collaborative, integrated, and science-driven 5-Year Work Plan. It will serve as our guide in moving the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative forward to advance the efforts of the broader conservation community in addressing large-scale environmental and climate impacts.

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5-Year Work Plan Full Report

5-Year Work Plan Full Report

This report represents the result of a 3-day Workshop of the Cooperative's Steering Committee and key Partners to produce a collaborative, integrated, and science-driven 5-Year Work Plan. It will serve as our guide in moving the Appalachian LCC forward in advancing the efforts of the broader conservation community in addressing large-scale environmental and climate impacts. The Work Plan helps direct the energies and focus of the LCC to achieve the goals and objectives identified by the assembled conservation leaders.

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Assessing Forest Fragmentation from Marcellus Shale Gas Development

Assessing Forest Fragmentation from Marcellus Shale Gas Development

Expansion of drilling sites and associated infrastructure to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale deposits has the potential to significantly reduce existing forest cover across the Marcellus field and leave what remains in a fragmented state.

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Ecosystem Benefits and Environmental Threats

Ecosystem Benefits and Environmental Threats

The Appalachian LCC is funding research that will assess and inventory ecosystem services throughout the Appalachians in order to link and fully communicate the environmental and economic values of the region’s natural assets. Knowing the complete, critical, and diverse benefits from nature will allow managers, scientists, industries, and the public to explore new policies to encourage protection of and investments in these resources. Objectives of this research are to link the environmental and economic values of the region’s natural assets in a way that establishes a common language for resource managers, scientists, industry, local government and the public to substantively engage in landscape-level conservation planning and to explore different development or management strategies and examine trade-offs to support improved and informed decision-making.

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Data Needs Assessment

Data Needs Assessment

The Data Needs Assessment research project was undertaken to review the variety of resources on conservation planning to provide packages of products, data, and identified data gaps to improve conservation planning in the Appalachian LCC. A suite of core conservation planning products and data from principal investigators at Clemson University are now available to the Cooperative.

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A Stream Classification System for the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative

A Stream Classification System for the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Unifying state-based stream classifications into a single consistent system, principal investigators at The Nature Conservancy developed a hierarchical classification system and map for stream and river systems for the Appalachian LCC that represents the region’s natural flowing-water aquatic habitats. This river classification information is needed to develop and implement instream flow standards and management recommendations so that environmental flows can become integral to all water management decisions from the onset.

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Classification and Mapping of Cave and Karst Resources

Classification and Mapping of Cave and Karst Resources

The project will assemble georeferenced data, identify key intermediate (classification) data, and develop supporting science products that depict and map karst habitats and biotic resources across the Appalachian LCC based on the most appropriate method of classification to facilitate landscape-level planning objectives and address conservation and management needs.

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Environmental Flows from Water Withdrawals in the Marcellus Shale Region

Environmental Flows from Water Withdrawals in the Marcellus Shale Region

The Appalachian LCC collaborated with Cornell University to study the environmental impacts of water withdrawals in the Central Appalachian region. The rivers and streams of the Central Appalachians are home to more than 200 species of fish and other aquatic life. They also provide a reliable source of drinking water, recreational opportunities and associated economic benefits to people living in large cities and surrounding communities. This research looks at how the region’s surface freshwater supply – and the health of natural systems delivering this resource – have been impacted and may be altered in the coming years under increasing water withdrawals. It focuses on the Marcellus Shale region in the Central Appalachians, including portions of NY, PA, OH, MD, WV and VA.

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Species and Habitat Vulnerability Assessments of Appalachian Species and Habitats

Species and Habitat Vulnerability Assessments of Appalachian Species and Habitats

Future climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies will be dependent on the best available projections of how the regional climate will change and the impacts those changes will have on the region’s natural and cultural resources. Understanding the vulnerability of various species and habitats to climate change within the Appalachian LCC is of critical importance for making effective conservation decisions. The AppLCC funded a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment research project that addresses several factors: 1) how the Cooperative should acquire information about the climate vulnerability of Appalachian species and habitats to develop vulnerability assessments for a suite of key species and habitats to share with partners; 2) compilation of known vulnerability assessments of species and habitats, and 3) new climate change vulnerability assessments of selected species and habitats in the AppLCC region.

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Species and Habitat Vulnerability Assessments of Appalachian Species and Habitats

Species and Habitat Vulnerability Assessments of Appalachian Species and Habitats

Future climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies will be dependent on the best available projections of how the regional climate will change and on estimates of the impacts those changes will have on the region’s natural and cultural resources. Thus understanding the vulnerability of various species and habitats within the Appalachian LCC to climate change is of critical importance.

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Classification and Mapping of Cave and Karst Resources

Classification and Mapping of Cave and Karst Resources

It has been recognized by the Appalachian LCC partnership that to develop and deliver landscape-level planning tools, it is essential to develop an Appalachian-wide map depicting where cave and karst habitats and resources occur across the landscape. For the past 18 months, researchers for the Appalachian LCC funded “Classification and Georeferencing Cave/Karst Resources across the Appalachian LCC” project have been gathering and analyzing data on caves and karst region wide. This work has produced a series of deliverables, including narratives, data tables, geospatial information layers, and a variety of maps. The maps and files provide a comprehensive overview of data availability for examining relationships between environmental factors and biological diversity and distribution within karst areas of the Appalachian LCC.

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Assessing Future Energy Development Across the Appalachians

Assessing Future Energy Development Across the Appalachians

Assessing Future Energy Development across the Appalachian LCC used models that combined data on energy development trends and identified where these may intersect with important natural resource and ecosystem services to give a more comprehensive picture of what potential energy development could look like in the Appalachians. Ultimately this information is intended to support dialogue and conservation on how to effectively avoid, minimize, and offset impacts from energy development to important natural areas and the valuable services they provide.

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Ecosystem Benefits and Environmental Threats

Ecosystem Benefits and Environmental Threats

Given the rapid environmental change experienced and expected across the Appalachians, it will be crucial to understand the vulnerabilities of valued ecosystem services to drivers of large-scale change that may threaten their sustainability. The Appalachian LCC has partnered with the US Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center to assess ecosystem services, and vulnerabilities to environmental risk factors, throughout the Appalachians. Synthesizing current knowledge of the diverse benefits that people derive from functioning Appalachian ecosystems will help managers, scientists, industries, and the public to establish a common language for linking the environmental and economic values of the region’s natural assets in a way that encourages protection of and investments in these resources.

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