South Dakota State University, Larry Gigliotti
Project Funded in FY 2014
The Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative identified habitat loss (factors influencing land use and land conversion) as a key research need in 2012. This grassland-wetland ecosystem provides essential habitat for an array of wildlife, especially waterfowl. Temperate grasslands are one of the most threatened biomes worldwide, with the greatest threat being conversion to annual crop production. Understanding how a private landowner responds to economic incentives/pressures may identify strategies to reduce habitat loss in the plains and prairie pothole region. This project will measure attitudes and intended behaviors towards participating in a variety of conservation programs and barriers to participating in various conservation programs; Identify future changes in farming/ranching practices related to the aging trend of farmers/ranchers; and measure the Wildlife Value Orientations of landowners and the relationship with attitudes and intended behaviors towards participating in conservation programs.
July 9 – 10, 2014
Bureau of Land Management – Montana/Dakotas State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
For more information, contact Mike Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org
We connect science and people. This July 9 – 10, 2014, the LCC will host its second Connections Workshop in Billings, Montana, to promote continued collaboration between scientists, managers, communicators and policy experts. Researchers and scientists will present and draw connections between more than 12 cutting edge projects supported by the LCC. In addition to drawing linkages between terrestrial and aquatic resource challenges and opportunities, workshop participants will also participate in a session focused on the partnership’s priorities of land-use change and human dimensions.
“Connections II” Workshop Save the Date
- Connect Technical Committee members to researchers
- Connect the work of your LCC with those who can use it
- Connect the work on aquatic systems to terrestrial systems
- Connect on-the-ground conservation efforts with the science to support those efforts
- Connect our past and on-going efforts to potential future projects
“This is guaranteed to be another great opportunity to improve your partnership by actively participating in discussions related to on-going and recently completed research supported by your LCC,” said Mike Olson, LCC Science Coordinator.
The workshop will feature presentations related to research on aquatic and terrestrial systems by representatives from multiple agencies and organizations. The workshop will begin at 8:00 a.m., July 9, and conclude at 12:00 p.m., July 10, 2014.
Local hotels include:
Best Western Plus – 4915 Southgate Drive Phone: 406/256-9400
Hampton Inn Billings – Southgate Drive Phone 406/248-4949
Sleep Inn Billings – 4904 Southgate Drive Phone 406/254-0013
August 12 – 14, 2014
For more information, contact Gwen White at email@example.com
Maintain a working landscape—and design a landscape that works—for water quality, wildlife and people
Recent extensive new tile drainage and reversion of Conservation Reserve Program lands to cropland in the Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC geography as a result of high commodity prices suggest that those states may contribute excessive nutrients through the Missouri River drainage in the very near future. States within the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC geography already contribute the greatest nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone through downstream states in the greater Mississippi River watershed. We need to solve these problems in a way that appeals to the upstream communities who may implement changes in land and water use by designing practices that fulfill both local conservation needs and downstream Gulf of Mexico impacts.
Seven LCCs are working together to identify key scientific uncertainties associated with design and management of a sustainable ecosystem/floodplain landscape that provides multiple benefits for agricultural productivity, water quality, and wildlife conservation—both locally and in the Gulf of Mexico. Online meetings through the summer are preparing for a Mississippi River Basin / Gulf Hypoxia Structured Decision Making Workshop to be held August 12 – 14, 2014 in a central U.S. location that will convene 40 key representatives integrating a range of perspectives.
The ultimate goal of this multi-LCC effort is to prioritize agricultural conservation areas by mapping the most cost-effective and receptive places for implementing practices with multiple benefits, such as the intersection of watersheds where each of the following factors is high:
- Nutrient export to the Gulf of Mexico;
- Wildlife habitat value, particularly grassland birds and riparian species;
- Social capacity to network and provide extension, as well as visibility of the project to propagate adoption and promotion of the practices and economic drivers for conservation practices; and
- Optimal siting of conservation practices using stakeholder on desirable water quality, economic, and ecological impacts.
The effort is designed to be complementary to the principles and goals of the Hypoxia Task Force, Mississippi River Basin Initiative, and similar existing efforts, with a common mission to reduce nutrient loading through watershed and effectively achieve water quality benefits both locally and in the Gulf of Mexico, but with an integrated focus on habitat conservation.
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
The Landscapes Patterns project is intended to provide support to multiple organizations with an interest in achieving environmental outcomes on landscapes of varying scales in the north-west part of the North American continent in general, and in Alberta in particular. The project undertook a literature review of publications that show a relationship between human land use and land use patterns and the qualitative state of various parts of the environment. Most published research focuses on wildlife species and water quality.
Various map files were also produced as part of the project. The intent is to set up a spatial or keyword searchable function on the LC Map website and to allow website users to add citations to the citations and bibliographic database.
A second phase of the project will involve collaboration among the funding parties regarding ways in which landscape metrics can be used to support environmental outcomes in land use and conservation planning.
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
This carbon sequestration research is part of a new pilot grassland conservation program to protect at-risk grasslands from conversion to cropland in the northern Great Plains. Natural resources partners have leveraged more than $3 million in private and federal funding to support an innovative program that extends protection of privately-owned grasslands that have expired under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). In the past two years alone, the number of CRP acres nationally has dropped from 31.2 million to 27 million. Of the 4.2-million-acre-decline, lands lost in North Dakota and Montana accounted for 1.6 million acres, or 38 percent. The program aims to encourage private landowners to conserve CRP grasslands through the financial incentives of carbon credits.With the support of LCC funding, Ducks Unlimited and LCC partners will conduct soil carbon measurements on expired CRP lands before and after installation of livestock fencing and other infrastructure benefiting grassland conservation.