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Brian Gratwicke USFWS Biological Planning An Overview of the Context and Processes Northeast Region Biologist’s Conference Baltimore, Maryland 15 February.

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Presentation on theme: "Brian Gratwicke USFWS Biological Planning An Overview of the Context and Processes Northeast Region Biologist’s Conference Baltimore, Maryland 15 February."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brian Gratwicke USFWS Biological Planning An Overview of the Context and Processes Northeast Region Biologist’s Conference Baltimore, Maryland 15 February New York DCDC PittsburghPittsburgh PortlandPortland RochesterRochester RoanokeRoanoke USFWS Incomplete Look At Loss of Wildlife Habitat Over Time

2 Biological Planning An Overview of the Context and Processes Biological Planning – In Context of SHC Biological Planning – In Context of SHC Biological Planning Session Orientation – Parts, Pieces, and Speakers Biological Planning Session Orientation – Parts, Pieces, and Speakers Biological Objectives – Why and How Biological Objectives – Why and How Population

3 …a conservation approach that sees the Service, as a core function to fulfilling its Mission, collaboratively defining, designing, and delivering landscapes that sustain socio-viable populations of fish and wildlife and the ecological processes on which they depend. Biological Planning In SHC Foundational Underpinnings

4 Biological Planning In SHC Foundational Underpinnings Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Delivery Outcome- based Monitoring Assumption- driven Research ARM Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Actions

5 Foundational Concepts Underpinnings of SHC As a body of knowledge and as a method of discovery Science: Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Delivery Outcome- based Monitoring Assumption- driven Research ARM Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Actions

6 Foundational Concepts Underpinnings of SHC As a body of knowledge and as a method of discovery Science: Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Actions Resource Management Enhances its Ability to Operate Effectively In The Face Of Increasing Uncertainties Enhances its Ability to Operate Effectively In The Face Of Increasing Uncertainties Learning Is An Explicit Objective of Our Management Decisions. Learning Is An Explicit Objective of Our Management Decisions.

7 Foundational Concepts Underpinnings of SHC Goals and objectives of sustainable landscapes for fish and wildlife exceed the operational reach of individual programs, agencies, and organizations Land management occurs at the site scale; yet ecological outcomes are system dependent, operating on processes manifested at broader spatial and temporal scales. Landscapes that can sustain socio- viable populations of trust fish and wildlife resources Interdependence: Landscape: Conservation Target: As a body of knowledge and as a method of discovery Science: 2030 New York DCDC PittsburghPittsburgh PortlandPortland RochesterRochester RoanokeRoanoke

8 Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory BiologicalPlanning Conservation Design Conservation Actions – Biological Planning Unit – Priority Species – Population Objectives – Species-Habitat Models – Limiting Factors Biological Planning In SHC Landscapes that can sustain socio- viable populations of trust fish and wildlife resources Conservation Target:

9 Structured Decision Making: An Integral Process In An SHC Approach to Sustaining Fish and Wildlife Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Actions – Biological Planning Unit – Priority Species – Population Objectives – Species-Habitat Models – Limiting Factors – Landscape/Habitat Assessment – Assessment of Conservation Estate – Decision Support Tools – Integrate Multiple Species Objectives – Conservation Objectives – Program Objectives – Conservation Delivery Mechanisms – Communication & Education Delivery Mechanisms – Conservation Tracking System – Habitat Inventory and Monitoring Program – Population Monitoring Program – Species/Habitat Model Assumptions – Conservation Treatment Assumptions – Key Factor/Sensitivity Analyses – Spatial Data Analyses Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Conservation Design Conservation Actions – Priority Species – Population Objectives – Species-Habitat Models Structured Decision Making:

10 Biological Objectives: Population & Habitat What are population objectives?What are population objectives? Why do we need population objectives?Why do we need population objectives? Challenges in establishing objectives?Challenges in establishing objectives? Where do we get population objectives?Where do we get population objectives? An example of stepping-down objectivesAn example of stepping-down objectives

11 “Measurable expression of a desired biological outcome” “Measurable expression of a desired biological outcome” Conservation Target Conservation Target Landscapes capable of sustaining priority species at prescribed levels range- wide – Vital Rates What are Population Objectives? Defined – Abundance – Trend – Population index Ex: 7,400 kites Ex: 7,400 kites Ex: 10% annual increase Ex: 10% annual increase Ex: 2 fledglings/pair/year Ex: 2 fledglings/pair/year Ex: 62 active territories Ex: 62 active territories Swallow-tailed Kite

12 Why Do We Need Population Objectives? Advantages and Benefits Maintains a focus on a biological outcome specific to trust resource fish and wildlife populations Maintains a focus on a biological outcome specific to trust resource fish and wildlife populations Provides a common currency across geographies and habitats Provides a common currency across geographies and habitats Increases scientific credibility, transparency, and accountability Increases scientific credibility, transparency, and accountability

13 Why Do We Need Population Objectives? National Wildlife Refuges National Forests State Wildlife Mgt Areas Wetland Reserve Program Public Lands Reforested Hydrology Restoration – Public Hydrology Restoration – Private Conservation Reserve Program 739,518 61,199 1,147, ,845 66, , , ,146 Conservation Estate TOTAL -2,908,286 Target: Landscapes capable of sustaining populations of Trust species range-wide at prescribed levels. What Where When How Much How Much More

14 Why Do We Need Population Objectives? Conservation Estate Protect and restore 200,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Reestablish and maintain three viable sub-populations of the Threatened LA Black Bear in the Tensas Basin, Red River Backwater, and Atchafalaya Basin of Louisiana.

15 How Are Population Objectives Used? Species-habitat modelsSpecies-habitat models –Identify limiting factors Conservation designConservation design –How much habitat is needed? –What kind of habitat? –Where?

16 Establishing Population Objectives? Challenges Institutional: Conjures Images of Single Species Management (SvHvE) Cultural: Technical: single species management

17 e.g.,DensityProductivityPopulationResponse = Landscape Quality Function Site Quality Function Mainly forested Deciduous forest Deciduous forest Deciduous forest 1° and 2° streams Large rivers Mesic edges Open understory Emergent canopy Dense understory LandscapeComposition Landscape Structure ForestComposition Forest Structure

18 Establishing Population Objectives? Challenges Institutional: Conjures Images of Single Species Management (SvHvE) Cultural: Technical: Traditionally A Regulatory Process

19 Establishing Population Objectives? Challenges Institutional: Conjures Images of Single Species Management (SvHvE) Cultural: Populations Span Spatial Jurisdictions Need to Sustain F & W Spans Political Boundaries Technical: Value-based: How to Get Society Involved? Traditionally A Regulatory Process

20 84,000 warblers Swainson’s warbler © Hilton Pond Center

21 Establishing Population Objectives? Challenges Institutional: Cultural: Populations Span Spatial Jurisdictions Need to Sustain F & W Spans Political Boundaries Technical: The Science (e.g., Life History, Limiting Factor, “Seeing”) Life Cycle Partitioning Populations Across Systems and Constituents Value-based: How to Get Society Involved? Conjures Images of Single Species Management (SvHvE) Traditionally A Regulatory Process

22 Establishing Population Objectives? Considerations California Condor – Indicator Benchmarks Benchmarks – Minimum viable population size – Sustainable populations – Harvest – Historic baseline – Deep time (>200 ybp) – Historical ( ybp) – Recent past (0-50 ybp) – Future conditions Value-based exercise Value-based exercise

23 Where Do We Get Population Objectives? Documented Resources Continental Plans Continental Plans – Waterfowl (1986, 2004) – Shorebirds (2000) – Waterbirds (2002) – Landbirds (2004) Regional Plans Regional Plans – SE Waterbird Plan (2006) – AC Joint Venture Recovery Plans Recovery Plans State Wildlife Action Plans State Wildlife Action Plans

24 Harvey Nelson

25 Prioritized The Continent Called for “joint ventures” Established Population Objectives 62 Million Breeding Ducks Public Private Partnerships

26 Prioritized The Continent Called for “joint ventures” Established Population Objectives 62 Million Breeding Ducks Mississippi Tennessee Kentucky Missouri Arkansas Louisiana How do we explicitly link regional (JV) goals to the continental (NAWMP) goal?How do we explicitly link regional (JV) goals to the continental (NAWMP) goal? How many ducks is the LMVJV responsible for returning to the breeding grounds to ensure the 62 million duck objective is achieved?How many ducks is the LMVJV responsible for returning to the breeding grounds to ensure the 62 million duck objective is achieved?

27 Waterfowl Population Objectives Step-down Process Reinecke and Loesch (1996)Reinecke and Loesch (1996) –Simple and efficient –Premise Proportion of continental population utilizing MAV is constant for all NProportion of continental population utilizing MAV is constant for all N

28 Mid-Winter Inventory Data January STEP 1 Winter Distribution of Ducks Among States Harvest Data January STEP 2 Winter Distribution of Ducks Within States

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30 Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Biological Planning Conservation Design Conservation Actions – Biological Planning Unit – Priority Species – Population Objectives – Species-Habitat Models – Limiting Factors Structured Decision Making: An Integral Process In An SHC Approach to Conserving Fish and Wildlife – Landscape/Habitat Assessment – Assessment of Conservation Estate – Decision Support Tools – Integrate Multiple Species Objectives – Conservation Objectives – Program Objectives – Conservation Delivery Mechanisms – Communication & Education Delivery Mechanisms – Conservation Tracking System – Habitat Inventory and Monitoring Program – Population Monitoring Program – Species/Habitat Model Assumptions – Conservation Treatment Assumptions – Key factor/Sensitivity Analyses – Spatial Data Analyses Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Conservation Design Conservation Actions

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34 Natural Flooding Public ManagedPrivate Managed Cropland Moist-soil Bottomland Hardwood

35 Natural Flooding Public ManagedPrivate Managed Cropland Moist-soil Bottomland Hardwood DED Private = f(status, extent, reliability, disturbance, habitat) DED Public = f(extent, performance, disturbance, habitat) DED Natural Flood = f(extent, frequency, duration, depth, habitat)

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37 Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge, LA , ,222 Bottomland Forest Moist Soil Harvested Crop* Unharvested Crop* Total

38 Catahoula NWR Objective = 629 ac Dewey Wills WMA Objective = 0 ac Lake Ophelia NWR Objective = 1,550 ac Grand Cote NWR Objective = 2,222 ac Red River WMA Objective = 558 ac Three Rivers WMA Objective = 153 ac Grassy Lake WMA Objective = 0 ac Pomme de Terre WMA Objective = 2,406 ac Spring Bayou WMA Objective = 3,200 ac Bayou Cocodrie NWR Objective = 358 ac Private Lands Objective = 140,000 ac Louisiana Waterfowl Habitat Objectives

39 Grand Cote NWR Conservation Programs Connected Through Ecological Pathways

40 Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory Assumption- Driven Research Monitoring & Inventory BiologicalPlanning Conservation Design Conservation Actions – Biological Planning Unit – Priority Species (Curt) – Population Objectives – Species-Habitat Models – Limiting Factors Biological Planning In SHC Landscapes that can sustain socio- viable populations of trust fish and wildlife resources Conservation Target:

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42 New York DCDC PittsburghPittsburghPortlandPortlandRochesterRochester RoanokeRoanoke What Where When How Much How Much More


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