Projects that will help to build a foundation of information and lead to decision-support tools for resource managers including species assessments, habitat conditions, and data and monitoring protocols have received $858,007 under a new collaborative program called the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC). Facilitated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this program focuses on landscape-scale planning and collaboration across science and management disciplines to address the conservation challenges necessitated by climate change.

Eleven projects, ranging from creation of a Web-based, interactive mapping tool for managers working on tidal marsh conservation to creating realistic climate change scenarios for Central Valley waterfowl habitats, received funding from the California LCC Interim Steering Committee. The California LCC is a recently organized partnership of California-based federal agencies, state agencies, tribes, and conservation organizations to address the challenges of climate change on fish and wildlife resources in an integrated fashion across a broad landscape. Funds were awarded to LCC partner organizations and will involve numerous additional conservation groups.

“The interim steering committee focused on funding projects that provided land managers with tools they can use within a year or sooner,” said Debra Schlafmann, California LCC coordinator at Fish & Wildlife’s Pacific Southwest Regional Office in Sacramento. “The LCC supported projects that will help guide on-the-ground efforts this year and into the future.”

The LCC funding awards announced today differ from other grant programs operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They do not require a partner match though collaboration with multiple partners is strongly encouraged, and funds are dedicated solely to science needs that will support natural resource conservation decisions and actions.

Organization, project descriptions and funding amounts include:

* California Department of Fish and Game ($103,099) A project to develop range maps for vulnerable species in California to be available to the public on the department’s Biogeographic Information and Observation System (BIOS). Partners: California Energy Commission, Caltrans, California Dept. of Water Resources.

* PRBO Conservation Science ($100,241) A project to identify priority sites for tidal marsh conservation and restoration and develop a Web-based, interactive mapping tool. Partners: San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, Bay Area Ecosystem Climate Change Consortium, California Dept. of Fish and Game, Coastal Conservancy, San Francisco Estuary Institute and Partnership, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Sonoma Land Trust.

* U.S. Geological Survey ($99,925) A project to develop a Web-based tool to access information on bird demographic responses to climate change that will be available via the California Avian Data Center Web site. Partners: California Waterfowl Association, PRBO Conservation Science.

* U.S. Geological Survey ($99,450) A project to develop realistic scenarios of change in Central Valley habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, and other water birds. Partners: Ducks Unlimited, Central Valley Joint Venture, PRBO Conservation Science.

* San Francisco Bay Area Open Space Council ($98,500) A project to complete a conservation lands network for biodiversity preservation which includes an on-line decision support tool, GIS database, software for fine-scale planning and report card template. Partners: Coastal Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

* PRBO Conservation Science ($86,065) A project to develop a foundation to monitoring environmental change by identifying where and what to monitor in order to evaluate climate-change impacts on land birds. Partners: Central Valley & San Francisco Bay Joint Ventures, California Dept. of Fish and Game, The Nature Conservancy, Coastal Conservancy, USFWS, Audubon California, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, USGS.

* U.S. Geological Survey ($82,452) A project to evaluate the effects of global climate change and sea level rise on intertidal habitat in the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Flyway migratory waterbirds that rely on this habitat.

* U.S. Geological Survey ($72,200) A project to develop a strategy to track key bird habitat and will allow for tracking change in winter waterfowl habitats. Partners: Ducks Unlimited, Central Valley Joint Venture.

* PRBO Conservation Science ($50,000) A project to develop a sampling design and monitoring protocol for wintering shorebirds in the Central Valley and in the San Francisco Bay Estuary and develop a LCC-specific Web-based shorebird monitoring portal available to the public. Partners: PRBO Conservation Science, Ducks Unlimited, USGS.

* PRBO Conservation Science ($40,995) A project to design a monitoring program and protocol to detect the effect of climate change on tidal marsh bird populations, and to conduct a vulnerability assessment for four tidal marsh bird species sensitive to climate change. Partners: San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, USFWS, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, San Francisco Estuary Institute, Invasive Spartina Project, CDFG.

* U.S Geological Survey ($25,080) A project to begin analyzing downscaled climate model data and computing rates of change to assess the geography of climate change at scales relevant to actual conservation actions. Partners: Bay Area Climate Change and Conservation Workgroup.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


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