Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative 2010 End of Year Summary

Author: Y. Converse, GNLCC Coordinator
Date: October 2, 2010

This is first year summary of status, milestones and next steps for the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) intended to update conservation partners on the development of the Great Northern LCC during Fiscal Year 2010.

Thank you to many of you for your expertise, assistance and support on teams, calls or discussion about LCCs and the Great Northern LCC during this formative year.

Why LCCs?
Clearly, landscape conservation is not new to our work. What is new is the level and scale of resources, coordination and program alignment which provides a unique opportunity to strategically apply adaptive management with the support of focused science across disciplines, jurisdictions and spatial scales.

If you still have questions about 'Why LCCs', please take a look at the independent report "Large Landscape Conservation: A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action" (McKinney, Scarlett and Kemmis 2010).

Large Landscape Conservation

National Perspective
LCCs have evolved from US FWS initial vision and are now a key component (along with USGS Climate Science Centers) of the Department of Interiors climate change response.

In addition, there is a great deal of activity within DOI and among other Departments about the need for Federal coordination on landscape level response to climate change and other landscape stressors.

This likely means LCCs, CSCs and the Federal government's response to climate and landscape will continue to evolve. In our opinion, this is a good thing that will lead to unprecedented Federal coordination, support and effectiveness; but as a result, the water remains a bit murky and things continue to change.

Great Northern LCC
With respect to the Great Northern LCC, we have come a long way thanks to the hard work of the many involved. But we still have a way to go before there is ubiquitous understanding and buy-in as well as smooth operations that are built into our way of doing conservation.

Given the pace and profile of LCCs in the past year, it's been hard to keep up, even for those working on it 24-7. The good news is, from our perspective, we have turned a corner with the level of understanding, support and engagement from our partners. Folks are rolling up their sleeves to figure out how to make this work.

Here are a few milestones for the Great Northern LCC from FY10:

  • the National Park Service is now co-lead of the GNLCC with US FWS
  • the GNLCC Steering Committee continues to grow beyond DOI and States to reach out to non-DOI partners, Canadian Provinces and Tribal partners and NGOs
  • the GNLCC Steering Committee has developed a goal statement and is working on a collective vision as well as landscape priorities
  • a multi-agency Advisory Team (collateral volunteers) of 5 grew to 15 including State and NGO reps
  • a governance and operational charter is in final draft
  • additional funds were added to FY10 GNLCC dollars to total nearly $1.5 million expended on priority science and informational needs.

FY10 GNLCC Funding
More than a dozen projects were funded in FY10 (

US FWS Pacific Region contributed an additional $100K from Ecological Services, Fisheries and Refuges; US Geological Survey contributed $100K and National Park Service contributed $70K. For FY11, we are hoping for even greater leveraging of dollars.

The Steering Committee voted to emphasize 3 categories for FY10: Data integration, Habitat Connectivity and Water Resource Vulnerability. Proposals solicited were either:

  1. Identified by an existing landscape partnership as a landscape need. Example: Crown Managers Partnership identified the CotC Ecosystem Baseline Assessment as critical to their landscape efforts
  2. Part of a foundational layer of data or information deemed critical to a regionally shared data or landscape assessment. Example: National Wetlands Inventory and State WGA DSS pilots

The Advisory Team ranked proposals according to a relevance criteria weighted by the Steering Committee. The SC approved a funding recommendation from the AT in June.

In FY11, we will continue to build and solidify the GNLCC partnership and strive for better vertical integration through inreach, outreach and through roll-out of geographic Eco Forums. The Advisory Team will be presenting the Steering Committee with a road-map for long-term strategic direction and operations which incorporates Eco Forum input and which will drive annual funding.

With one year under the belt, FY11 funding process should be more efficient but is still transitioning to fully operational. If you have a question about why and how GNLCC funding or a suggestion, please contact me or Greg Watson.

In FY11, we anticipate better outreach materials and communication tools, early stages of a framework for regionally-scaled decision-support, as well as continued support for foundational information and
landscape partnership efforts that can ultimately be linked together across the Great Northern geographic area.


Eco Forums: Rocky Mountain, Columbia Basin and Sage Steppe
We envision the Eco Forums as a way for conservation practitioners, biologists, managers and scientists to define the state of knowledge and information gaps, and subsequently to direct the specific science and information needs for the GNLCC priorities in future years.

We will be proposing a process for Eco Forums at the next GNLCC Steering Committee. If our proposed model is adopted by the Steering Committee, you will be invited to participate in an Eco-Forum in the upcoming year.

Contact Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Yvette Converse / GNLCC Coordinator
Bozeman, Montana
Phone: 406-994-7486


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