Conserving the stage: Identifying a resilient network of conservation sites in the Northwest
Time: 12-1pm MDT / 11am-12pm PDT
Presenter: Steve Buttrick, Director of Conservation Science and Planning, The Nature Conservancy in Oregon
Description: The objective of this project, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, is to develop and implement a process to identify those sites, within the East Cascades, Columbia Plateau, Blue Mountains/Middle Rockies and Southern Canadian Rockies ecoregions, that are most resilient to a changing climate and in total best capture both geophysical and current biological diversity. Because species distributions are correlated with physical characteristics of the land, especially geology, soils, and topography conserving a variety of these geophysical settings or land facets could offer a robust and efficient approach to protecting biodiversity under future climate scenarios. We hope that by mapping land facets and evaluating them against characteristics that describe microclimate diversity, local permeability and network connectivity, we can identify the most resilient places in the landscape – those that will conserve the full spectrum of physical “stages” and offer many microclimates and options for species movement – thus maintaining landscape functionality and, consequently, the chances of species’ survival in a changing climate.