Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Service Names Veteran Wildlife Professional to National LCC Coordinator Post

July 8, 2010


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

Veteran wildlife professional Doug Austen has been named National Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) Coordinator for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Austen has been working in the conservation field for more than 25 years, most recently with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He served six years as executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. In addition, Austen has been vice-chair of the Governing Board of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) and earlier chaired the work group that drafted the initial NFHAP plan.

As FWS National LCC Coordinator, Austen will serve as the principal policy advisor and liaison between the Service and the Department of the Interior, other national and international conservation agencies and organizations, industry, and the public. He also will work with senior executives and leaders in all FWS programs and Interior bureaus to promote and facilitate establishment and operation of the national network of LCCs—self-directed partnerships that link science and conservation delivery within and across landscapes. LCCs are an integral part of Interior’s strategic climate change response.

“It is quite clear that the magnitude of the conservation challenges that we face demands that we address them through highly effective cooperative approaches that leverage the resources of multiple partners, ” Austen says. “As a state director, a great deal of my effort was spent on bringing groups together and creating opportunities to accomplish goals that were mutually compatible. In my new position, I will have the opportunity to continue that work at the national level. It is very exciting. ”

“Doug is a highly respected member of the conservation community who exemplifies the Service’s commitment to broad-based partnerships and science-based conservation, ” says FWS Acting Director Dan Ashe. “He not only has the experience and vision to help guide and strengthen the national network of LCCs, but he also has demonstrated a deep love of our country’s fish and wildlife resources throughout his career. ”

Prior to his work in Pennsylvania, Austen worked with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as head of its Technical Support Section, Watershed Management Section, and Fisheries Analysis Section. During that time he worked on ecosystem management, assessment of the Illinois River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, conservation planning, fisheries information systems, aquatic sampling, fisheries management, and sampling gear selectivity.

Austen also spent 10 years with the Illinois Natural History Survey working with state fisheries programs on sampling design, creel survey design, and information systems. During that time he was part of a team that developed the Multistate Aquatic Resources Information System (MARIS).

Throughout his career, Austen has been involved with the American Fisheries Society (AFS) and has served as President of the Illinois Chapter and the North Central Division. He also has served as President of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Austen has been on the editorial board of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management and published numerous papers in that journal and several others. He has also co-authored several AFS published book chapters.

Austen says LCCs will harness existing and new applied conservation science and planning capacities to address a broad range of immediate resource threats compounded by accelerated climate change. These tools will help inform site-specific conservation work to meet landscape-scale objectives for fish, wildlife and plants, as well as land, water and cultural resources.

“There is a great deal of talent out there among all of the resource agencies and organizations at all levels, ” he says. “I hope that the LCCs can play an effective and important part in gathering that together and providing it to those who can use it to get work done on the ground. ”

For more information on the national network of LCCs, visit

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