Field Guide to Landscape Assessments of the United States

U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
Created: 4/24/2014 -

Abstract

State, federal, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are investing significant resources to conduct landscape-scale assessments of the location, condition, and vulnerability of renewable natural resources. These assessments provide critical information on contiguous landscapes (e.g., ecoregions, watersheds, habitats, communities) that can be vital to a range of partners in developing landscape-scale management strategies and plans. They also provide important perspectives for subsequent finer scale management, assessment, and monitoring. A lack of awareness and coordination across these efforts reduces efficiency and diminishes the benefit of these individual assessments.

A multi-stakeholder group recognized the need for and value of collaboration among the authors of these assessments to enhance efficiency and utility and reduce duplication of efforts. This group, called the Crosswalk Team, is collaborating to develop information resources on landscape-scale renewable natural resource assessments. The team’s purpose is to facilitate greater coordination and integration across assessments and improve access to data, which greatly benefits many landscape-scale efforts [e.g. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Projects].

The Field Guide to Landscape Assessments of the United States represents the culmination of the first phase of the crosswalk process. By design, this Field Guide is limited in scope to allow for quick and easy reference. It provides a snapshot of a small sampling of current assessments and uses a common format to improve understanding of similarities and differences in areas of interest, objectives, and resources assessed. The Field Guide does not provide an in-depth analysis of assessments and associated issues, nor does it answer all questions for each audience. It serves, however, as a collaborative tool for understanding existing assessments and as a foundation for future work. Contingent on funding and participation, the Crosswalk Team will build upon the existing Field Guide framework and further engage assessment practitioners to identify other information that would be of value for possible next phases of the crosswalk process, such as developing an interactive map of the assessments, peer-reviewed papers, and expanding the reach to Hawaii and Alaska.

Published On

Organization(s)

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

EcoAdapt is at the center of climate change adaptation innovation. We provide support, training, and assistance to make conservation and management less vulnerable and more Climate Savvy. Over the past 200 years, great strides have been made in the world of conservation and now all of that is at risk because of climate change. EcoAdapt is working to ensure the success of these past efforts by delivering a framework for climate adaptation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. It is the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is management of these important natural resources for the American public. The Service also helps ensure a healthy environment for people through its work benefiting wildlife, and by providing opportunities for Americans to enjoy the outdoors and our shared natural heritage.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is a Federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the purpose of the Forest Service—"to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run."

The BLM is responsible for managing the nation's public lands and resources in a combination of ways which best serve the needs of the American people. The BLM balances recreational, commercial, scientific and cultural interests and strives for long-term protection of renewable and nonrenewable resources, including range, timber, minerals, recreation, watershed, fish and wildlife, wilderness and natural, scenic, scientific and cultural values.

Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources. The department operates under a dual mandate from the Washington Legislature to:

For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.

For 40 years, Manomet has worked to build a sustainable world based on healthy natural systems that support human and wildlife populations. We are a trusted leader in the non-advocacy use of science for problem-solving, and have a long history of working collaboratively with entities that have the capacity to leverage change.

The Environmental Protection Agency has ten Regional offices, each of which is responsible for the execution of the Agency's programs within several states and territories.

Keywords

Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Land Use Planning
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Initiate targeted research program
Create/enhance resources and tools
Habitat/Biome Type
Terrestrial
Region
United States

Related Resources