BEACONs Conservation Matrix Model
The NWB LCC and its partners are collaborating with the Canadian Boreal Ecosystems Analysis for Conservation Networks (BEACONs) project team to support the application of the Conservation Matrix Model (CMM) within the NWB LCC region. Landscape Conservation Design goals supported by the CMM include maintaining ecological flows such as the movements of organisms, water, and nutrients across the landscape, as well as identifying ecologically sustainable activities that will ensure the achievement of shared goals and measurable objectives. More information on BEACONs.
The project will include assistance with the acquisition and development of datasets, modification of software planning tools, delivery of workshops for knowledge and technology transfer, and undertaking a LCC-wide assessment of potential benchmark networks including existing protected areas and pilot case studies in the Central Yukon and Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Planning areas.
Acquisition and Synthesis of NWB Geospatial Datasets
The NWB LCC and its partners are cooperating with the Alaska Natural Heritage Program (AKNHP) to provide geospatial support in the application and development of the Conservation Matrix Model for the Northwest Boreal region. This will include the acquisition, development, and analysis of natural resource datasets, including the development of a geospatial dataset of anthropogenic activities in Alaska. This anthropogenic footprint map will build on the one already compiled by Ducks Unlimited Canada for the Canadian portion of the LCC. The DU Canada report for the NW Canada anthropogenic mapping effort can be found here.
Analysis of Alaska Federal Landscape Connectivity
Dr. Dawn Magness, ecologist with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, is conducting a pilot analysis to identify core areas that connect the federal conservation estate across AK. Maintaining and restoring landscape connectivity is the number one recommended climate adaptation action; by identifying core areas for landscape connectivity now, we have a better chance of preventing loss of connectivity and the need for restoration in the future. The results of this project will inform the revision of the BLM’s Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Central Yukon Planning Area in Interior Alaska, demonstrating how landscape planning and design can inform on-the-ground conservation and policy.
Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM)
The NWB LCC continues to provide technical and financial support to USGS and the University of Alaska’s Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning (SNAP) to further develop the Integrated Ecosystems Model for Alaska and Northwest Canada. Aspects of the project specific to NWB LCC include the mapping of climate change vulnerability hotspots, including those areas most susceptible to: permafrost loss/active layer depth change, changes in carbon stocks/biomass, wildfire, and vegetation composition shift including treeline change. The IEM team will meet regularly with LCC stakeholders to gain feedback and advice on appropriate applications of the products.
Conservation Planning Atlas
With funding provided by the LCC Network, the NWB LCC is joining with other Alaska-based LCCs to collaborate with the Conservation Biology Institute in the development of a Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA) for Alaska and Northwest Canada. Using the Data Basin framework (www.databasin.org), the Alaska and Northwest Canada CPA will make it easier for users to find, visualize, and process basic geospatial data in support of conservation planning and science delivery.
GIS staff support
The NWB LCC is providing funding in support a temporary, part-time GIS specialist who is working to expand the Alaska conservation lands status map to include the full geographic extent of the NWB LCC.