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REGION 8: Partners Workshop Kicks Off California Landscape Conservation Cooperative
California-Nevada Offices , March 19, 2010
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by Mike Olson

The Pacific Southwest Region hosted nearly 100 conservation partners March 18, 2010, in Sacramento, Calif.,  for the kick-off meeting of the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC).  The gathering included representatives from 45 government and non-governmental agencies and tribes.  The workshop, focused on northern half of the LCC proved to be a terrific forum for a collaborative discussion on the vision, form and function of the new California LCC.

Deputy Regional Director, Ken McDermond, opened the meeting on a challenging note by talking about the 21st century pressures on natural resources and why we need a new and improved set of conservation tools to tackle these pressing issues. 
“The LCC approach represents a call to action that transcends the Fish and Wildlife Service,"McDermond said.  "We are committed to delivery of a landscape conservation program that supports ongoing efforts is value-added to our tribal, state, and local partners, and is built on a foundation of collaborative governance.”  McDermond added that after attending many climate related meetings over the last five years he typically left those gatherings feeling a bit discouraged, but today, by focusing our efforts and energies on a plan to address some of these issues he had renewed hope for the future of conservation.

Assistant Regional Director for Climate Change and Science Application, Rick Kearney presented an overview of the LCC including who will be involved and the goal of producing management relevant science that is easily accessible and useable by our partners.  Rick also mentioned that the California LCC is one of eight LCCs the Service is creating in 2010 and is part of a network that will include 21 LCCs to be established across the country by various Interior bureaus. 

Steve Schwarzbach, Center Director for the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, added his agency’s support for the LCC approach with a commitment of staff and resources to support the effort.  Schwarzbach also presented an overview of the magnitude of the climate change challenges and how the DOI Climate Change Centers will aid the LCC approach.

The afternoon included 8 concurrent breakout sessions lead by various partners.  These breakout sessions focused on the vision, function and ultimate organization of the LCC. 

One of the many partners in attendance was Ellie Cohen, President and CEO of PRBO Conservation Science.  “It was impressive to see the broad range of top conservation leaders, public and private gathered in one room to initiate the California LCC," Cohen said, "Joining together to ensure increased science capacity through the work of the LCC will be essential to conservation success for society.”

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov



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