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Benjamin Letcher

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There is growing evidence that headwater stream ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changing climate and land use, but managers are challenged by the need to address these threats at a landscape scale, often through coordination with multiple management agencies and landowners. This project sought to provide an example of cooperative landscape decision-making by addressing the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change at the watershed scale. Predictive models were built for critical resources to examine the effects of the potential alternative actions on the objectives, taking account of climate effects and examining whether there are key uncertainties that impede decision making....
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Cold-water adapted Brook Trout were historically widely distributed – ranging from northern Quebec to Georgia, and from the Atlantic Ocean to Manitoba in the north, and along the Appalachian ridge in the south. However, studies show that due to factors associated with climate change, such as increased stream temperature and changing water flow, the number of streams containing Brook Trout is declining. Although efforts have been made to protect and restore this cold-water fish at local levels, the extent that temperature increases will vary within and across different streams and the ability of Brook Trout to seek cold-water refugia or adapt to these increasing stream temperatures currently remains unclear. The...
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NOTE: The data are available online four times based on four different attributes (the current, plus 2 degrees C, plus 4 degrees C, and plus 6 degrees C probability of occurrence), the dataset is the same and the download includes the layer files for all the attributes, you do NOT need to download the data more than once.This dataset is one of a suite of products from the Nature’s Network project (naturesnetwork.org). Nature’s Network is a collaborative effort to identify shared priorities for conservation in the Northeast, considering the value of fish and wildlife species and the natural areas they inhabit. Brook Trout probability of occurrence is intended to provide predictions of occupancy (probability of presence)...
Headwater stream ecosystems are vulnerable to numerous threats associated with climate and land use change. In the northeastern US, many headwater stream species (e.g., brook trout and stream salamanders) are of special conservation concern and may be vulnerable to climate change influences, such as changes in stream temperature and streamflow. Federal land management agencies (e.g., US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Department of Defense) are required to adopt policies that respond to climate change and may have longer-term institutional support to enforce such policies compared to state, local, non-governmental, or private land managers. However,...
The Interactive Catchment Explorer (ICE) is a dynamic visualization interface for exploring catchment characteristics and environmental model predictions. ICE was created for resource managers and researchers to explore complex, multivariate environmental datasets and model results, to identify spatial patterns related to ecological conditions, and to prioritize locations for restoration or further study. ICE incorporates stream temperature and brook trout occurrence models for headwaters of the Northeast, including projections of the potential effects of climate change. ICE is part of the Spatial Hydro-Ecological Decision System (SHEDS).
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