The Southeast Natural Resource Leaders Group has undertaken the Landscape Conservation and Restoration Pilot Project (LCRPP) to provide Federal leadership in natural resource protection that will accomplish three goals. The first goal is to develop a consistent approach to understanding the shared values of the natural resource agencies. These values are embedded within the funding objectives used to protect important natural, cultural, and social resources in the Southeast. The second goal is to develop shared tools that can assist local communities in protecting important landscapes from climate change and other potential risks. The third goal is to establish a common framework of accountability that provides a foundation for leveraging resources more efficiently. The LCRPP uses available data to identify essential attributes across the landscape. These attributes support agency funding objectives linked to habitat, recreation, human health and water quality protection. In addition, the attributes provide the basis for working at a regional scale and help identify opportunities to allow ecosystems to respond to environmental risks associated with climate change, urban development and other natural resource threats. The LCRPP lays out an innovative approach to leverage available resources for conservation and restoration on the landscape. The continued constraints on fiscal spending implore innovative strategies that integrate accountability of existing resources used to protect and sustain a productive landscape for future generations. Its value as an organizing theme for federal, state, tribal and local organizations is strengthened through the use of geospatial tools to: assist efforts to visualize adjacent land attributes; identify potential impacts to the landscape from human and natural environmental risks and evaluate how those risks can be addressed by supporting resiliency across the landscape. The results of this work provide natural resource agencies with a significant opportunity to enhance their missions through coordinated efforts with on-the-ground partners in resource protection. Through the use of a common language developed in this effort, federal agencies can integrate diverse missions with a set of science based attributes that are essential to a healthy landscape. In addition, the framework enables federal agencies to target resources, engage stakeholders and establish performance measures that support leadership and accountability in the Southeast.
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