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.,
Ducks Unlimited Canada, Province of Manitoba
The Souris River watershed spans more than 23,000 square miles (61,000 square kilometers) across Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Manitoba. The funding will support a cross-jurisdictional study led by Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Province of Manitoba researchers that will combine current and historic wetland inventories and examine water quality trends across watersheds with varying levels of wetland cover. Non-point source pollution from the Souris River watershed has been known to impact water quality throughout the watershed including the adjoining Assiniboine River and Lake Winnipeg.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; South Dakota Game Fish and Parks; Wyoming Game, Fish and Parks
March 2010 – June 2012
The states of Iowa, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming have used LCC funding to support the revision of their individual State Wildlife Actions Plans to accommodate for the potential impacts of climate change. Each state received $10,000 in funding from the LCC to support this effort. The completed plans can be found at http://www.wildlifeactionplan.org
Robert Gresswell, U.S. Geological Survey
July 2011 – September 2013
Prairie streams are essential components of the Northern Great Plains because they provide critical “green lines” of habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. The fish that inhabit the warm, turbid waters of these streams are indicators of change in these delicate ecosystems, where water quantity and water quality are often precariously close to ecological tolerance limits. In fact, changes in water quantity and quality associated with global climate change may transform prairie streams from essential refuges to habitats no longer capable of supporting fishes. This project is examining these changes and developing tools to assist managers in predicting the effects of climate change on prairie stream ecosystems of the northern Great Plains.
Dr. Mark Dixon, University of South Dakota
September 2011 – August 2013
The cottonwood forests of the Missouri River floodplain, already greatly reduced due to agricultural expansion over the past century, are aging and suffering from chronic recruitment declines due to flood control from six major dams along the upper half of the river. This project is developing a model to project future trends in cottonwood forest area and age distribution along segments of the Missouri River based on changes in land use, cottonwood recruitment, and forest succession. The study will also examine bird-habitat relationships in floodplain forests and project the effects of forest changes on the abundance of selected forest bird species. Results will inform the decisions of natural resource managers attempting to balance the needs of various stakeholders along the Missouri River.