NE CSC Fellow attends ETPBR LCC meeting

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eastern Box Turtle. Credit: Sarabeth Klueh, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

NE CSC Graduate Fellow, Jaymi LeBrun, attended the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers (ETPBR) Landscape Conservation Cooperative Steering Committee Meeting

on January 22-23 at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles, MO.  Here is Jaymi’s perspective on the meeting:

 

"The ETPBR LCC historically included prairie and river ecosystems, but now it is primarily dominated by agriculture. The degradation and loss of prairie and aquatic systems has contributed to runoff and downstream hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. The primary mission of this LCC is to promote and coordinate conservation efforts that contribute to local water quality and nutrient reduction while improving wildlife habitat and reducing downstream hypoxia. The ETPBR LCC was one of the last LCCs to form and therefore did not have the same funding that the first LCCs had when they started. This allowed this LCC to form more slowly and form strong and far reaching partnerships. Because this LCC is not well funded, it relies heavily on their USGS and USFWS partners.

"This meeting discussed the following topics:

1)    Gulf Hypoxia opportunities for action and funding

2)    Gulf Hypoxia workshop at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference (January 27th)

3)    Current and potential project partnerships

  • Human dimension in agriculture
  • STRIPs project (integrating small strips of prairie within row-cropped agricultural landscapes)
  • USGS project to develop a spatial decision support system

4)    Business plan (strategy to guide conservation efforts)
Focal Area Action Plans

  • Prairie restoration
  • River restoration
  • Agroecology
  • Urban watersheds

5)    List of species to concentrate conservation efforts

"I learned so much more about the history of the LCCs, their structure, partnerships, and conservation efforts. Going to this meeting opened my eyes to the conservation needs in my own backyard of the Midwestern United States. I think their conservation focal species list will guide me in my future work. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with local stakeholders."