In response to the threats of land use and changing environmental conditions, the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) coordinated a team of partners from 13 states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nongovernmental organizations, and universities, who worked for more than a year to develop a regional conservation design that provides a foundation for unified conservation action from Maine to Virginia.
Drawing on the data and models generated by projects supported over the years by the North Atlantic LCC, and building on smaller-scale conservation designs in the region, Nature’s Network is an overarching design that represents both the culmination of the cooperative’s collaborative work to date and a starting point for new conservation endeavors.
The Nature’s Network conservation design identifies a network of places that help define the highest conservation priorities in the region to sustain natural resources and benefits for future generations. Led by partners from nearly 30 organizations using innovative modeling approaches developed by a network of contributing science partners, Nature’s Network:
* Reflects scientific consensus from experts across the 13-state conservation community.
* Represents a shared vision for natural resources in the Northeast.
* Offers a practical set of tools that help people working at different scales to contribute to regional conservation goals while also meeting the goals of their individual organizations.
Nature’s Network offers a suite of decision-support tools representing five conservation approaches. Used together, or individually, these tools offer voluntary guidance to:
Conserve the irreplaceable – The best place to start strategic conservation is to identify a network of connected, intact, and resilient areas encompassing various types of lands and waters representing important habitats for key species. These are priority places for future sustainable human and natural communities in the Northeast.
Make better decisions for the future – Guidance that reflects projections about how land use and environmental changes will affect natural resources over time can help us safeguard today’s investments in conservation for future generations.
Maximize limited resources – Conservation agencies and organizations have limited time and money to invest in protecting natural resources that wildlife and people depend upon. Guidance grounded in science and supported through regional collaboration allows more efficient use of limited resources in the face of complex environmental threats.
Support local priorities with regional perspective – Seeing how local conservation efforts fit into the bigger regional picture can help connect local, state and regional priorities. By zooming out, practitioners working at any scale can discover new opportunities that warrant a closer look.
Find opportunities to work together – Sustaining fish, wildlife, and natural resources in the face of increasing threats is beyond the scope of any single agency. With the benefit of consistent regional information, partners can look across state borders for opportunities to work together towards shared conservation goals at scales that matter for wildlife and people