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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service California Landscape December 2009 Conservation Cooperative Introduction Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are self-directed conservation partnerships among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), other federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and others to address the challenges of cli- mate change in an integrated fashion across broad areas. LCCs provide sci- entific and technical support for land- scape-scale conservation in an adaptive management framework that empha- sizes science-based biological planning, conservation design, research, inven- tory and monitoring. The products that LCCs develop help to inform and improve conservation delivery efforts on the ground. Climate change is the greatest environ- California wetlands provide essential habitat for populations of Northern Pintail and other migratory birds. USFWS. mental and conservation challenge of the 21st century. The impacts of climate change exacerbate existing stressors water, estuarine and marine habitats Partnerships on our fish and wildlife resources. Cli- are vital for salmon, trout, and other The USFWS will continue mate change brings physical changes fish. The forested habitats of the Sierra working in cooperation with other that include increasing temperatures, Nevada and Coastal ranges support a federal agencies, States, Tribes, rising sea levels, shifts in ocean cur- wide variety of resident and migratory nongovernmental organizations, Joint rents, altered precipitation patterns, birds. All of these habitats will be af- Ventures, and other entities using a and increased flood frequency. These fected in some way by climate change. coordinated approach. The California physical effects will lead to biological region already has a number of major impacts such as changes in the distribu- In addition to our trust resources, US- partnerships underway that capitalize tion of plants and animals, new species FWS facilities will also feel the impacts on landscape-scale biological planning invasions, disease outbreaks, disrupted of climate change. Our coastal National and conservation design. These include food webs, and ultimately, increased Wildlife Refuges face potential inunda- the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, species extinctions. Dealing with these tion from sea level rise. Other refuges California-Federal (CALFED) Bay- challenges will require an unprecedent- will experience water shortages, reduc- Delta program, Central Valley Joint ed level of collaboration between public ing our ability to manage refuge lands Venture, and the San Francisco Bay and private conservation interests. for waterfowl and other wetland-depen- Joint Venture, among others. The dent species. Our National Fish Hatch- West Coast Governors Association, Conservation Need in the California LCC eries will have less access to fresh cold Nature Conservancy, California Fish California habitats support a wide di- water, affecting their ability to raise Passage Forum, Pacific Coast Joint versity of trust resources. Our marine fish in support of restoration and other Venture, California State agencies, and coastal island habitats support programs. California Rangeland Conservation large populations of seabirds, shore- Coalition, the Bay Area Ecosystem birds and marine mammals as well as Managing in the face of climate change Climate Change Consortium and numerous federally listed species. The impacts will be very challenging. The others are also actively involved in wetlands and agricultural fields of the California LCC provides a critical planning efforts. Regionally-based Central Valley provide essential migra- bridge that links science and manage- climate change research programs are tion stopover and wintering habitat to ment to effectively address these chal- underway, including those sponsored large numbers of waterfowl. Our fresh- lenges. by the California State Climate Change Program, University of California, California State University System, Stanford University, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, PRBO Conservation Science, and the USGS. California LCC Framework In establishing the California LCC, the USFWS will work with partners to cre- ate a framework for integrating climate science and conservation management. This effort will be coordinated with other climate change efforts in the region and be set up in a manner that will facilitate the identification of needs, capacities and gaps. We will link our efforts to deliver con- servation on the ground with those partners who bring additional science capacity to biological planning, conser- vation design and the design of moni- toring, research and evaluations. A steering committee with representa- tion from our partners will guide the activities of the LCC and define LCC priorities. LCC Products and Outcomes The California LCC will provide prod- ucts and services that: • Support natural resource manage- ment decision making; • Assist partners and USFWS in identifying immediate time-critical needs for managing fish and wild- life resources; • Develop explicit and measurable biological objectives to guide con- servation design and delivery; • Apply downscaled climate models strategies, including public out- • Design protocols and methodolo- and landscape scales to predict ef- reach, for disease and die-offs; gies best suited to evaluating the fects on fish, wildlife, plants and • Design and evaluate short- and success of conservation strategies, their habitats; long-term wildlife adaptation ap- objectives and actions; and • Assess watershed resiliency with proaches; • Identify areas of converging cli- changing hydroperiods to inform • Identify high priority research and mate and non-climate stressors. restoration investments; technology needs; • Develop landscape level analyses to • Conduct risk and vulnerability as- Contacts: support corridor conservation and sessments to identify the most sen- Rick Kearney, USFWS Pacific protection; sitive species, habitats and ecologi- Southwest Region Climate Change • Identify and prioritize cold water cal functions to focus conservation Coordinator, Sacramento, CA at systems and refugia for anadro- efforts; Richard_Kearney@fws.gov, or call mous fish; • Develop information to define fac- 916-978-6160; • Monitor habitat instabilities from tors affecting species recovery un- invasive species threats and from der future climate scenarios; Debra Schlafmann, USFWS Pacific native species range expansions; • Assess risks for USFWS facilities Southwest Region, Sacramento, CA at • Provide analyses to inform coor- located in areas of potential inun- Debra_Schlafmann@fws.gov, or call dinated fish and wildlife response dation from sea level rise; 916-414-6455.