National Wildlife Refuge System

Landscape Conservation Design

Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) ensures that refuge-level actions contribute to a landscape-level vision.  A landscape covers a large geographic area that has many habitats, conditions and human uses. Landscape Conservation Design provides the opportunity to create a recipe for functional landscapes. It is a long-term process in which flexibility and adaptive management are paramount.  Adaptive management focuses on learning and adapting, through partnerships of managers, scientists and other stakeholders who collaborate on how to create and maintain sustainable ecosystems.

Targeted restoration is necessary on many wildlife refuges to bring altered landscapes back into ecological balance, enabling native species to thrive. The Refuge System works with public and private partners to identify priority species, develop measurable population objectives and conserve habitats capable of supporting these species.  Landscape and habitat must be resilient to both short-term climate fluctuations and long-term climate change. Planning recognizes the interests of all stakeholders while never losing sight of the Refuge System’s conservation mission.

A Landscape-Scale Approach to Refuge System Planning – June 2013 report

About NWRS
Protection of the endangered Canada lynx requires habitat conservation beyond refuge boundaries.
Credit: Keith Williams/Creative Commons
Last updated: January 29, 2014