Co-Producing Landscape Science

Designing

our Landscape 

Our collaborative represents a variety of conservation and landowner interests throughout our region, and we incorporate our shared values into all of our efforts.

 

Learn more about our Landscape Conservation foundation, how working lands play a vital role in our efforts, and how the Open Standards help us to monitor our progress. 

Landscape Conservation 101

​The Network for Landscape Conservation describes this practice as a shift from traditional conservation efforts.

 

"Landscape Conservation shifts in the following three ways:

  • A shift in geographic scale: Decades of scientific research have built an emerging systems-level understanding of the natural world and have underscored the importance of habitat connectivity across scales. To sustain biodiversity, ecological function, and climate resilience, conservation must transcend arbitrary boundaries and move beyond a site-specific, parcel-by-parcel approach.

  • A shift in perspective: Wildlands, farmlands, timberlands, tribal lands, places of cultural and historical significance, rural communities, urban areas, and other private and public lands are all part of a fully integrated whole — a landscape — and do not exist independent of one another. The landscape conservation perspective is that the entire landscape, private or public, developed to wild, must be considered in a thoughtful and integrated manner.

  • A shift in process: Landscape conservation crosses jurisdictional and topical boundaries, transcending traditional decision-making processes and top-down hierarchies. The landscape conservation approach is generally characterized by a horizontal process and collaborative governance structure with long-term participation by a meaningful diversity of stakeholders."

Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) is a framework for catalyzing landscape conservation.  LCD is people-centric, but also relies on geospatial data, biological information, and models, maps of values, ecosystem services and working lands. A design can offer guidance for organizations and agencies working at different scales in the same area, and can help foster collaboration among them to achieve shared conservation and sustainability goals. 

The Role of Working Lands in our Project

The coastal forest regions of Washington and Oregon are owned and managed by a mix of federal agencies (US Forest Service, Park Service, BLM), state agencies (WA DNR, WDFW, Washington Parks Commission, Oregon Parks, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, ODFW), land trusts, tribes (reservations and “usual and accustomed fishing and hunting places”), and private lands.

The LCD partnership, based upon input from stakeholders, will focus extra attention on engaging private landowners throughout the different phases of the LCD project.  Collectively, this group owns and manages over 50% of the land area in the LCD footprint. 

The management of private lands is more susceptible to change, compared to government-owned lands. 

Also, private lands are owned and managed for many different reasons.  Retaining and managing these working lands requires a close look into sector-specific ownership values, motivations, threats, incentives, and technical assistance programs.  One size does not fit all when it comes to policies and programs that support the continued existence of larger blocks of private lands important to species and habitat conservation.

Lastly, a deeper level of trust must be established and nurtured between private landowners and the other LCD partner organizations.  The practice of collaborative conservation must be basis for engaging private lands in this effort.  This approach emphasizes the importance of local participation, sustainable natural and human communities, inclusion, and voluntary consent and compliance rather than enforcement by legal and regulatory coercion.

Land Ownership in the CCLC region. Source: CCLC Work Plan

The infographic below shows the landscape values, stressors, and strategies identified by working lands partners, as well as their conservation counterparts, at sub-regional workshops. Following through on CCLC projects which directly address landscape-scale stressors is an important goal of the CCLC. 

Using the Open Standards for Capturing Progress

What are the Open Standards? 

What do we want the Cascades to Coast Region to look like in the future?  What will it take to get there?  The Open Standards provide an adaptive management approach and set of tools to support strategic planning. It is also a useful tool for documenting our collective thinking of how the ecosystem works and how we think our actions will impact the ecosystem and economies. 

According to the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP), the adaptive management process follows the steps depicted in the visual to the right:

  1. Conceptualizing the project: defining exactly what your project is trying to achieve, how success and progress will be measured and forcing you to be explicit about how you think your project sits in its context.

  2. Planning actions and monitoring: again, explicit and measurable goals and objectives and a clinical approach to assessing how your actions are intended to make the changes defined;

  3. Implementing actions, monitoring and work planning cycles: the work itself, doing and measuring outcomes.

  4. Analyzing monitoring data and using the results to adapt; the review and reflective part of the cycle: what your monitoring is telling you and what changes to your approaches are needed to ensure the impacts that you seek.

  5. Capturing and sharing learning with others both inside the project and the wider community: critical to building success is sharing the results and impacts both internally and externally.

Learn more about the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation here.