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Bumblebee at Mount Mitchell. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS.

Addressing conservation on a landscape level

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature.

Wildlife conservation has faced a string of challenges over the past 150 years. Overhunting led to the extinction of the passenger pigeon and nearly the bison. Hunting seasons and bag limits did an excellent job of addressing over-consumption problems. Habitat destruction became an issue as wetlands were drained and forests cleared – an issue which helped encourage the development of our national wildlife refuge and national forest systems, yet remains an important issue today. Then contaminants fouled our water and air, leading to the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts and the control of pesticides. Today, in addition to those challenges we are faced with new issues like invasive species and climate change.

A trend in these challenges is that they are increasingly caused by innocuous activities, they tend to be increasingly large in scope, and they pay no heed to property boundaries. The challenge for conservationists is how to respond to such a threat. For the Department of the Interior - which includes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey - that means looking at conservation on a large scale. The department is in the process of creating the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative, which will bring together state and federal agencies and other partners to look at the Appalachians from Alabama to New York and help provide land mangers with the science they need to make the best decisions possible.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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