Feds fund climate change study in Alaska's conservation plan
March 1st, 2011 | Alaska Newspapers Staff
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game are working together to conserve species, habitats, and ecosystems on a landscape level, a press release said.
Our Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program recently approved a $1 million state wildlife grant to incorporate climate change into Alaska's strategic conservation plan and to fund participation in the Service's Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs).
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are applied conservation science partnerships between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, states, tribes, NGOs, universities and stakeholders within a geographically defined area. They are intended to be true cooperatives, formed and directed by their partner agencies and organizations.
Nationwide, 21 LCCs have been identified. There is one for the Arctic that covers the North Slope. Much of Northwest Alaska is encompassed in a separate group called the Western Alaska LLC.
Under the new grant, Fish and Gamewill hire three new positions, including a program coordinator, ecologist and GIS specialist. The program coordinator will represent ADF&G on 3 to 4 LCCs in Alaska, providing each LCC with ADF&G expertise, scientific data and analysis.
An ecologist will represent Fish and Game on one to two LCCs, collecting, reviewing and analyzing scientific data and incorporating this data into LCC strategic plans. A GIS Specialist will provide spatial-based data relevant to the LCCs state-wide.
The State Wildlife Grants Program provides federal grant funds for developing and implementing programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, including non-game species.
Priority is placed on projects that benefit those species of greatest conservation concern. Through this State Wildlife Grant, our state-federal partnership will demonstrate the benefits of cooperating on a landscape conservation level to maintain the diversity of fish and wildlife species in Alaska and to address the biological responses of natural systems to climate change.
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. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.