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Wednesday, February 8 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Symposia Session - S9: Landscape Conservation Science and Management. Precision Conservation - Landscape Design for Wildlife, Water Quality and Agricultural Productivity

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AUTHORS: Gwen White, Tallgrass Prairie LCC; Michael Schwartz, The Conservation Fund; Jorgen Rose, Indiana University

ABSTRACT: According to water quality assessments, Midwest states within the Mississippi River Basin contribute the greatest nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico. Using the combined technologies of precision agriculture, landscape planning, and conservation biology, we can make every dollar count if conservation practices are designed and configured to deliver multifunctional impacts. The Gulf Hypoxia Initiative, spearheaded by seven Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), is an objective-driven process to target delivery of wildlife conservation practices across the MRB. Work Teams of researchers and managers drafted design and policy considerations for a dozen high impact conservation practices that benefit wildlife, water quality and agricultural productivity (“what to do”). The Conservation Fund has developed publicly-accessible online data sets and spatial decision support tools as the foundation for the Precision Conservation Blueprint v1.0 to map, evaluate, and select the most strategic places to implement these actions (“where to do it”). State, federal, tribal and NGO partners in the LCCs have developed this framework to avoid duplication of effort and align conservation actions across multiple scales. This process is intended to be complementary to related efforts, such as the Hypoxia Task Force, Mississippi River Basin Initiative, and state nutrient reduction strategies – but emphasizing the integration of ecological, economic and social values of wildlife habitat in a multifunctional landscape. The set of high impact conservation practices, web-based spatial analysis tools, and research products enable partners to identify: 1) immediate opportunities to target investments in conservation delivery across the MRB; and 2) next steps for research and model integration. Outcomes of the initiative will be a well-defined set of collaborative actions including overcoming program/policy barriers, guiding user-designed tool interfaces, proposing demonstration sites for emerging practices, and developing basin-level cross-sector monitoring strategies. Links to view the spatial analysis and download data layers on Data Basin at .

Wednesday February 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am CST
Grand Ballroom E