Ecoregional assessments provide a regional scale, biodiversity-based context for implementing conservation efforts. The intent of the assessments is to create a share division for agencies and other organizations at the regional, state and local levels to form partnerships and ensure efficient allocation of conservation resources. The assessments identify a portfolio of sites for conservation action with a goal of protecting representative biodiversity and ecologically significant populations. These assessments are the result of rigorous analysis, incorporating expert review, and are the most comprehensive and current efforts that support spatially explicit priority setting at an ecoregional scale. Biodiversity conservation in the ecoregion will attain its fullest potential if all conservation organizations coordinate their strategies to protect and restore biodiversity according to the priorities identified in this process.
The North Cascades and Pacific Ranges ecoregional assessment resulted in the selection of 341 conservation targets, including 152 terrestrial plant and animal species, 132 freshwaterspecies targets, and 57 ecological system targets. These system targets are the majorecological systems that make up the terrestrial and freshwater environments.
This assessment resulted in a series of products useful to those involved in the conservationof biodiversity in the North Cascades and Pacific Ranges Ecoregion. These products can be used alone, in conjunction with one another, or with other information to enhance on-the ground conservation and communication about biodiversity values in the ecoregion. The main products developed are:
- Terrestrial and freshwater ecological systems classifications.
- Terrestrial and freshwater conservation portfolios, showing the most important and suitable areas for conservation of ecoregional terrestrial and freshwaterbiodiversity, respectively. A summary of known target occurrences, land cover, land use, etc. is provided for each PCA along with an illustration of relative priority based on biodiversity value and suitability for conservation.
- Irreplaceability maps showing the relative conservation value of all places in the ecoregion.
- Overlaid terrestrial and freshwater portfolios, showing the area of overlap between the two portfolios.
- Three scenarios for biodiversity conservation, representing different levels of risk.