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Enhanced conservation action planning: Assessing landscape condition and predicting benefits of conservation strategies

By Low Provencher Abele, Greg Low, Louis Provencher and Susan L. Abele


*Corresponding author ABSTRACT: We used remote sensing, predictive ecological models, and cost-benefit assessments to develop a landscape-scale conservation action plan. The methods provided quantitative measurements of current and predicted future ecological conditions and evaluated the benefits and costs of alternative management strategies. The approach built upon The Nature Conservancy’s conservation action planning (CAP) methodology and tools developed by the national interagency LANDFIRE program. Our approach, which we call “Enhanced CAP, ” was designed to inform proposed management actions for the Bureau of Land Management and private land managers for a 76,464 ha (188,946 acre) project area in California’s Bodie Hills and northern Mono Lake Basin. Five of the area’s 15 ecological systems were found to be highly departed from their reference conditions. Using computer-based modeling and collaborative stakeholder participation, varied management scenarios were simulated for 20 years and 50 years. A combination of ecologically-based and wildfire protection management was found to meet the conservation objectives for the least cost for seven of the eight systems selected for management attention. The key to enhanced planning was our ability to use remote sensing to calculate current landscape ecological condition and use computer models to isolate managemen

Topics: conservation planning, cost-benefit, ecological condition, LANDFIRE, predictive ecological models, strategies, threats
Year: 2013
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