Enhancing the climate resilience of America’s natural resources

Steve Traxler, science coordinator for the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative, presented accomplishments from Southwest Florida at the White House Roundtable on Resilient Lands and Waters Partnership. The President’s Priority Agenda for “Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources” directed federal agencies to work with states, tribes and other partners to select flagship geographic regions and identify priority areas for conservation, restoration, or other investments to build resilience in vulnerable regions, enhance carbon storage capacity, and support management needs. It also directed the agencies and their partners to identify and map the initial list of priority areas within each of the selected geographic landscapes or regions. In response to this call, seven landscape-scale resilient lands and waters partnerships were identified. The roundtable provided a forum for learning about the challenges, successes and next steps for each partnership, and how this initiative could guide future efforts.

Working together with states, tribes, and other partners, federal agencies identified seven landscape-scale Resilient Lands and Waters partnerships across the country during the spring and summer of 2015 to participate in the Initiative. These include: California Headwaters, California’s North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed, Crown of the Continent, Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands, Hawai‘i, Puget Sound’s Snohomish River Watershed, and Southwest Florida. These partnerships showcase the benefits of collaborative landscape-scale management approaches to identify priority areas for conservation, restoration, and management actions.

The final report and products resulting from the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative are available online. The site highlights the accomplishments of the seven landscape-scale partnerships and describes overarching challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations coming out of the Initiative.