Conservation bio Essay

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Origins of resource conservation
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End industrial rev, expanding human pop, depletion of game, extinction of certain species (passenger pigeon)
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4 Important figures
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John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt, and Aldo Leopold
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John Muir
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naturalist, founder of Sierra club, activism helped to preserve Sequoia National Park, father of National parks
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Gifford Pinchot
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American forester and politician, 1st chief of US Forest Service, perfected “art of producing from forest whatever it can yield for service of man”, first to demonstrate practicality of managing forest for continuous cropping, coined term CONSERVATION ETHIC
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Theodore Roosevelt
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naturalist, explorer, 26th president, 1st president to speak out for conservation, expanded system of national parks and forests
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Aldo Leopold
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Ecologist, author of A SAND COUNTRY ALMANAC, influential in modern environmental ethics and wilderness conservation, emphasized biodiversity and founder of science of wildlife management
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Ethical roots of conservation movement
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Living creatures and land have intrinsic value, natural world adds value, resources should be consumed responsibility
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Ecology
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study of how organisms interact w/ environment
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Liebig’s Law of Minimum
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Single factor in shortest supply relative to demand is critical determinant of species distribution, gave rise to notion of HABITAT
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Leopold’s Law of Interspersion
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Number of organisms limited by degree of INTERSPERSION, interspersion highest where two or more habitat types come together producing ECOTONE or EDGE EFFECT
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Dispersion
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distribution of organisms in habitat (random, ordered, clustered)
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Ordered dispersion
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results from territoriality
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Clumped dispersion
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results from gregariousness (social organisms)
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Tolerance limits
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max/min level by which species can’t survive, peak abundance at middle of curve, both environmental and genetic, migration (gene flow) increases genetic variability and likelihood organism will survive environmental change
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Niche
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sum of total resources needed by organism, is multidimensional HYPERVOLUME,
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Ecological niche
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organism’s place and function in environment
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Competition
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overlap of niches
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Resource partitioning
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Competition causes exclusion or divergence in resource utilization patterns
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Fundamental niche
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Niche portion before resource partitioning
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Realized niche
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Nice portion after resource partitioning
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Competition theory
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central to COMMUNITY ECOLOGY, establishes limits for similarity among species
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Other interspecific interactions
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predation, parasitism, symbioses (mutual, commensalism)
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Evolutionary role of predation
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reduces competition, allow successful traits to become dominant
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Coevolution
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Interspecific interactions play important roles in COEVOLUTION process. Ex: prey evolve defensive mechanisms, predators evolve mechanisms to counteract
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Population
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Group of individuals w/ high probability of exchanging genes, have group characteristics, ex: birth rate, death rate
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Population growth rate
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R=(b+I)-(D+E)
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Exponential growth
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dN/dt=rN Change in population size (N) over time period (T)
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Logistical growth
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Population nears carrying capacity (K) dN/dT=rN(K-N)/K
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Density dependent factors
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related to # of individuals, ex: resource competition
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Density independent factors
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unrelated to population ex: fire, frost
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Life history strategies
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different kinds of factors influence population life strategy
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R strategists
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limited by environment, live in harsh environments, high pop growth rates, short lived, broad niches, opportunistic, large allocation to reproduce
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K strategists
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live in stable, predictable environments, longer lived, higher allocation for growth (competitive ability), specialists
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Communities
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assemblage of populations, open system w/out discrete boundaries
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Communities and conservation
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Must understand how populations interact in order to preserve biodiversity
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Community assembly and diversity
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Regional/historical (speciation/dispersal) and local/contemporary factors contribute to diversity
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Diversity
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1) richness-# of species in community 2) Evenness- # of species plus evenness of occurrence
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Alpha diversity
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diversity w/in particular habitat
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Beta diversity
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deals w/ changes in diversity b/w habitats (species replacement)
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Gamma diversity
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deals with diversity change accross different environments
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Theory of island biogeography
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Species diversity inc as a function of habitat area S=cA^z S=richness A=area c=taxonomic constant z=extinction coefficient
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Rosenzweig’s model of species loss
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1) Initial disturbance destroys some habitat and lose some endemic species 2) sink species loss results in less biodiversity and more vulnerability 3) more species loss
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Cookie-cutter model
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communities w/ larger ranges experience less of effect on diversity than small ranged communities
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Intermediate disturbance hypothesis
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Diversity will be highest at intermediate levels of disturbance
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Rarity
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Difficult to adequately represent rare species b/c few species usually represent community numbers
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Molecular genetics
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Uses protein electrophoresis to determine genotype (and therefore genetic variation)
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Conservation Genetics
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Seek to establish MINIMUM VIABLE POPULATION
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Inbreeding
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Can cause inbreeding depression. Need population size of 50 to avoid
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Genetic drift
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chance fixation of allele in population. Occurs in populations isolated for time
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Which is better? Large or small reserve
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Large
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Which is better? continuous or fragmented
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continuous
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Which is better? close proximity or far
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close
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Which is better? proximity to many reserves or one
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many
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Which is better? connectedness or isolation
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connectedness
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Which is better? more edges or less edges
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less (circle)
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Problems w/ application of island biogeography
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Extinction not as frequent (due to rescue effect of immigration), no predictions about which species would persist
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Huffaker’s experiments on mite predator-prey relationships
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When oranges concentrated, prey/predator crashed. When oranges dispersed, predator/prey flourished
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Metapopulations
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collection of subpopulations maintained by colonization
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source populations
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Have higher habitat quality and therefore less mortality
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Sink populations
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Have less habitat quality and therefore more mortality
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Metapopulations and conservation
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Places emphasis on habitat heterogeneity, patchiness, and quality
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Conservation Laws
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Practices based on science but empowered by laws
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Wilderness Act
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1964. Established Wilderness Preservation system. Protected wildness areas from development by prohibiting activity (timber harvesting, vehicles, roads). Required attentive monitoring (scientific study of ecosystem function)
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Land and Water conservation act
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1965. Preserved water and human recreational activities. ESTABLISHED TRUST FUND FROM TAXES FOR LAND ACQUISITION
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Natural Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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1970. Required statement of ecological consequences for all federal actions. Established basis and funding for legal challenges against federal gvt
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Clean Water Act
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1972. Established system for permitting discharges and daily discharge limits. Required municipalities receiving federal aid to construct waste treatment facilities
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Endangered Species Act (ESA)
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1973. 3rd version. Established funding to assert status of species. Prohibited federal agencies from taking action if species jeopardized. Most power
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Keys to conservation law effectiveness
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Endorse value of resources, ambiguous language, inspirational language, provide funding, involve non governmental entities in decision
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NEPA
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1970’s. NEPA forced federal agencies to consider impacts of proposed actions, invited criticism. Only applies to MAJOR federal actions
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Environmental Assessment (EA)
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1st requirement of federal action
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FONSI
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“Finding of no significant impact”. Result of EA. describes why there is no impact
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Environmental Impact statement (EIS)
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Possible impact. More detailed statement. Public notice-comment-final EIS-decision-appeal
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Shortcomings of NEPA
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lead agency has too much power. decisions always appealed. Funds diverted to litigation from research.
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Problems with ESA
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Made Fish and Wildlife service too powerful. amendment allowed for committee to waive regulation when habitat designation too costly
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Snail darter
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ESA upheld in supreme court that dam would destroy habitat
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Scientific Criticisms of ESA
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Focused on individual species and habitat. applied too late. reactive rather than proactive. Doesn’t protect metapopulations. VALUE OF SPECIES AND HABITAT DETERMINED BY COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS (CBA), PITS NATURE AGAINST MARKET VALUES
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Ecosystem approach
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Seeks middle ground in promoting protections. Replaces CBA w/ SAFE MINIMUM STANDARDS that establishes minimal level of protection
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Habitat conservation Planning (HCP)
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Plan that landowners prepare to get incidental take permit. Explains how development would affect endangered species and how effects mitigated
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Criticisms of HCP
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Did not require conservation commitment on part of landowner
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Memoranda of Agreements (MOA) and Safe harbor agreements
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Landowners required to set aside habitat for species
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Natural communities conservation planning
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California program. Landowners volunteered to set aside land for species. Allowed for flexibility
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Conservation easements
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Lowers taxes on land in exchange for restriction of activity
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Climate change and reserves
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Reserve locations fixed, can’t change with shifting climate zones
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Louisiana geology
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Quaternary sediment. Mostly holocene alluvium and pleistocene surfaces
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Ecocoregions
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Cover large regions of land and water. Geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species
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Land development in LA
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mostly agriculture. Wet and coastal prairies lost. Marsh disappearing.
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Biodiversity in LA
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No formal biodiversity policy. Plants not covered by endangered species laws. No coordinated biodiversity assessment system (utilizes Natural heritage system).
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Partners for Fish and Wildlife (USFWS)
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1987. Helps restore wetlands for waterfowl. Landowners receive financial assistance to restore wetlands
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Wetland Reserves Program (WRP)
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offer landowners incentives to restore property. Easements, 30yr easements, restoration cost share agreements
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Grassland reserve program (GRP)
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Protects grasslands that may be converted to other uses. Participants volunteer to limit future development. Grazing management plan mandatory
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Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRLPP)
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Provides up to 50% of market price to acquire land
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Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
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Provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands
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Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)
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Assists landowners on voluntary basis through perpetual easements, 30yr contacts, cost sharing
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Mitigation banking
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Replaces exact function of habitat in order to offset expected adverse impacts by proposed project.
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Wetland Mitigation banks
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Mitigation bank sponsor sells credits to individuals who receive permit to destroy wetlands
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Farmer’s home administration lands
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Provides mechanism for farmers to decrease debt
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Department of Agriculture
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Forest Service
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Department of Commerce
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National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, NIST, PTO
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Department of Interior
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Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, National Park Service
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USDA mission
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enhance quality of life for American people by supporting production of agriculture
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National Resources and Environment (NRE) Mission
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ensure health of land through sustainable management, prevent damage, restore resource. Composed of Forest service (FS) and National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
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Duties of NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration)
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Charting, climate, FISHERIES, oceans, research, weather, satellites
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National Marine Fisheries Service
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Fisheries management and Conservation, Marine Mammal Conservation, Sea Turtle Protection and Conservation, Marine Habitat Protection, Marine Biodiversity
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Department of Interior (DOI)
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Nation’s principle conservation agency, protects cultural heritage, conducts research, conservation of natural resources, protects wildlife. Manages 1/5 of all U.S land
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Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
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Improves habitat, protects endangered species, controls spread of invasive species, enforces wildlife laws, distributes tax revenue to wildlife agencies. LA in region 4
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U.S Geological Survey
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Monitor information on earthquakes, volcanoes; monitor water quality (ground and above ground), estimate US and world energy and mineral supplies, conduct RESEARCH ON BIOLOGY, geology, and water
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Top 5 Nongovernmental Organizations
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Environment Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society
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Origins of FWS
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1871-US Commission on Fish and Fisheries created. Spencer Baird 1st commissioner
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Bureau of Biological Survey Origin
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1885-Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy established. C. Hart Merriam 1st chief. Focuses on + effects of birds in controlling pests
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Lacey Act
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1900-1st federal law protecting game, prohibited interstate shipment of wildlife taken illegally
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Federal Bird Reservation
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1903-1sr federal bird reseve established by TR
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Migratory Bird Treaty Act
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1918-protected migratory birds, regulation of migratory bird hunting
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Duck Stamp Act
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1934-required purchase of stamp by hunters. Revenue gained from stamp used to acquire wetlands
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Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration
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1937-provided funding for wildlife/habitat management
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Birth of FWS
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Bureau of Fisheries became FWS. Federal reservations designated as national wildlife refuges
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Habitat Conservation Plan
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Permit obtained by landowners designed to prevent harm by proposed activity
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What FWS does for ESA
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HCP’s, international activities (working w/ other nations), recovery plans, grants, permits, consultations
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US Forest Service
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1905-manages public lands in national forests and grasslands
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Changing focus (USFS)
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Originally about sustainable use of resources. Now more about protecting forests for wildlife habitat and human enjoyment
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Forest Service R and D
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Enhances understanding of organisms, ecological processes. Provides results essential for sustaining, air, water and soil quality. Experimental forests
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FSR and D research areas
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Wildlife and aquatic habitat, watershed, soil, atmospheric sciences
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Wildlife Habitat Research
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FSR and D provides land managers w/ info for sustaining animal and plant habitat. Emphasis on threatened or endangered species and declining communities
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Aquatic Habitat Research
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Only research in country w/ focus on restoring and protecting fish habitat. Focus on native salmonids and imperiled invertebrates (crayfish)
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Watershed research
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Focus on human disturbances and quality of water
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Atmospheric Sciences Research
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Focus on effects of air pollution/weather on public lands
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Roadless Rule
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prohibits new road construction and existing road reconstruction. Opposed by timber industry
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Roadless Rule impacts
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decrease timber harvest by 2%. Lose a few timber and mining jobs
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National Wilderness Preservation System
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1964-manages wilderness areas in US. manages 1/3 of US wilderness
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National Park Service (NPS)
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Conserve scenery and natural and historic objects. Leave parks unimpaired
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History of NPS
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Artist George Catlin credited with origin. Yosemite 1st step when donated as STATE PARK. Yosemite was 1st national park
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Louisiana Nat Parks
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Poverty Point Monument, Cane River Heritage Area, Cane River Creole historical park, Jean Lafitte, New Orleans Jazz
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National Resource Challenge
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Protect native species and habitat, provide leadership for healthy environment, connect parks to protected areas and people
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Public and Parks
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Damage and pollution caused by vehicles, people get too close to wildlife, PS under pressure to permit all uses
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Gulf Coast Network
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8 nat parks in southeast US. Includes LA
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US Geological Survey (USGS)
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Monitor info on earthquakes and volcanoes. Conduct RESEARCH ON BIOLOGY, estimate mineral supplies
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USGS Nat programs
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GCRP, GTP, LUHNA, NAWQA, VMP
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Global Change Research Program (GCRP)
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Contributes to understanding of Global Warming
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Geospatial Technology Program (GTP)
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Provides coordination for geographic systems, GPS
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Land Use History of NA (LUHNA)
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Prepare scientific “history” of land use change in NA
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National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)
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Describes status and trends of nations water
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USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program (VMP)
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Classify, describe, and map vegetation communities in Nat Parks
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USGS Biological Resource Division (BRS)
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More focused on research (USFWS more concerned w/ practicality). Works to develop comprehensive pic of nations biological resources. Majority of programs directed to interior resource management
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USGS/BRS National activities
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NABBS, NASP, NPFFD, BEST, BBL, GAP
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NA Breeding Bird Survey (NABBS)
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Population trend and distribution of NA birds
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Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program (NASP)
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Information resource for accounts of nonindigenous aquatic species
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NP Flora and Fauna databases (NPFFD)
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Databases of vertebrate and vascular plant occurences in Nat parks
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Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST)
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Identify and understand effects of environmental contaminants
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Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL)
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study movement, survival, and behavior of birds
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Gap Analysis Program (GAP)
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Assessment of current protection of biodiversity over large geographic areas
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Cooperative Research Unit (CRU)
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Conduct research on renewable resources. Provide assistance on issues
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National Biographical Information Infrastructure (NBII)
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Network of databases on biological resources used by people
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Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
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Standardize nomenclature and taxonomical information
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Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON)
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Developing unified resource for discovery, linkage, and re-use of organismal data
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BISON building blocks
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Global Biodiversity Information Facility’s species occurrence records, Oak Ridge lab, USGS maps. partnerships w/ biodiversity community
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Breeding Bird Survey Today
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Cooperative effort b/w PAXUTEND WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER and CANADIAN WILDLIFE CENTER
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States Rights
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States maintain agencies to protect fish and wildlife and rights of people to use them
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State Wildlife Agencies
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Vary. Some only have fishing and hunting regulation, others have science based agencies based off of Bureau of Biological Survey
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State Natural Heritage Programs (SNHP)
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Established to make fish and wildlife conservation more uniform. Now managed by NatureServe
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Louisiana Natural Heritage Program (LNHP) Mission
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Staff gather info on species, maintain data base, then either work w/public and private entities or evaluate development projects
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2003 Inventory Projects
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Endangered plant, fish, bat, crawfish, ringed map turtle surveys; wading bird and seabird inventory
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Inventory/Landowners
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Implementation of Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program, LA Pearlshell Mussel Survey, LA Pine snake habitat enhancement
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Inventory/research
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LA Black bear,gopher tortoise, and amphibian project
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Rare and Protected Fishes Project
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Goal: update existing records in LNHP database. Approach: systematically visit streams
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Implementation of RCW Safe Harbor Program
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Goal: Implement program in non federal land while alleviating restrictions for landowners on RCW habitat. Approach: biologist meets with landowners to explain benefits of program
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Monitoring of LA black bear
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Goal: monitor establishment of breeding complex. Examine ecology of source bear population. Approach: black bear females w/ cubs moved to complex. Females equipped w/ transmitters
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LA Gopher Tortoise Health Surveillance program
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Goal: establish health status of turtle. Evaluate turtle as sentinel for diseases and toxins. Approach: collect blood and fecal samples from turtles
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Non-governmental Organizations (NGO)
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Private organization that PROTECTS ENVIRONMENT, relieves suffering, provides social services, or undertakes in community development
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Operational NGO
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Design and implement of development related projects
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Advocacy NGO
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Defend or promote specific cause, seek governmental influence (Conservation groups)
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Wilderness Society
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Preserves wilderness. Passed Wilderness Act. Creates broad base for conservation and reaching out. Protects Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Curbs road building
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National Audubon Soceity
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Fights for protection of wildlife and habitat. Maintains bird sanctuaries, Aided by Nat refuge System, sponsors research
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Environmental Defense Fund
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Dedicated to protecting rights of people to clean air, water, and healthy ecosystems. Links science, econ, and law. Maintains ACTION NETWORK for alerting online activists to send emails to policymakers
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Sierra Club
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Explores and protects Earth’s wildlands. Established by John Muir. Congressional lobbying. Foundation for grant making.
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Nature Conservancy
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Protects endangered species and threatened ecosystems
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Nature Conservancy Approach
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Use CONSERVATION BY DESIGN (science-based planning process) to identify highest-priority places
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Conservation by Design
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1)Setting priorities 2)Developing strategies 3)Taking direct conservation action 4)Measuring conservation success
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Setting Priorities (TNC)
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Through major habitat type assessments and ecoregional planning
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Ecoregion-based planning
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Set specific goals, assemble info, design network of conservation that meet goals, identify highest priority area
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Developing Strategies (TNC)
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SINGLE-AREA STRATEGIES or MULT-AREA STRATEGIES
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Single-Area Strategies
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Employ 5-S framework
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Multi-Area Strategies
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Priorities that affect multiple conservation areas
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5-S planning approach
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Systems (focal conservation targets), Stresses (most serious type of destruction), Sources of stress, strategies (actions necessary to abate threats), success measures (monitoring process for assessing progress)
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Taking Action (TNC)
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Fee acquisition, environmental education, public policy, water/land management agreements
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Measuring Success (TNC)
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Success: maintenance of biodiversity, abatement of critical threats, effective protection and management of places where action is taken WITH PARTNERS
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Partnerships (TNC)
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TNC pursues partnerships w/ communities, COMPANIES, gvt agencies. Brings together gvt entities, land developers, and conservation interests. ex: Pearl River Conservation Planning
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5-S Planning ex: Pearl River
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Systems: Costal plain riverine. Stresses: altered hydrology, substrate destabilization, contaminants. Sources: urban development, paper mill. Strategies: stakeholders workshop, land-use zoning. Successes: Conservation target in tact.

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