Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

New Portal for the Regional Environmental Information Network

The Conservation Registry welcomes a new portal partner, Metro’s Regional Environmental Information Network.

Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, transferred its Regional Environmental Information Network (REIN) to the Registry in February.  This data collaboration was accomplished in two phases. During Phase I, the portal architecture was built, an urban growth boundary map layer was added to the mapping tool, and over 400 projects were imported to the Registry. During Phase II, existing user accounts were updated and transferred to the Registry so that users would continue to enjoy the functionality they were accustomed to at the Metro site.

As the elected regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, Metro works with communities, businesses and residents to create a vibrant and sustainable region for all. The regional Environmental Network, launched in 2006 as part of Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods initiative, enables municipalities, nonprofits, schools and other partner organizations to enter environmental education, restoration, low-impact development, and natural area acquisition project information directly into The Conservation Registry’s online portal. Metro uses the quantitative and qualitative data to track the region’s ecological health over time and to encourage stakeholder collaboration.

“It’s a more user-friendly and powerful platform,” said Nature in Neighborhoods Coordinator Corie Harlan. “You’re able to enter information in and pull information out more easily.”

The Regional Environmental Information Network includes 435 projects at 569 sites; Metro’s long list of project partners includes the Tualatin Basin Invasive Species Working Group, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District and Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau.

The Conservation Registry’s interactive website enables users to view conservation projects by bird region, watershed and congressional district. The Registry’s partner organizations include the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Pacific Coast Joint Venture, Wildlife Habitat Council and Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit.

Projects to check out:
Apache Bluff Preserve. Planting native riparian vegetation in Washington County. New feature added to this portal is HUC6 subwatershed orientation.

Residential Green Roof built by Oregon State University master gardeners. An urban project that works to reduce impervious surfaces.

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Agua Fria River Basin Blog

How can a blog be a Registry project?

The Agua Fria Open Space Alliance’s new blog is all about one geographic location, a watershed near Dewey, Arizona. While a blog certainly stretches the definition of a Registry project, the Agua Fria Open Space Alliance’s blog falls within the Registry’s category of wildlife and habitat monitoring, research, education and policy activities tied to a specific geographical location because it is an online location for users to report wildlife sightings in the Agua Fria watershed. The blog also provides background information on conservation in this unique watershed.

From Dr. Garry Rogers, October 29, 2011:
This year Great Blue Herons built nests over one of my stock ponds in Dewey-Humboldt near the Agua Fria River. They started with two nests, but abandoned one. Three chicks hatched. These were the first nests I’ve seen since moving here in 1997.

I first noticed the nests on April 10, when some loud croaking began. I think that was when the eggs were laid. On April 12 I watched a Great Blue Heron chase all 25 of the vultures out of the willow trees along my driveway. He had them ducking and squawking. They came back as soon as he left.

The Agua Fria Open Space Alliance was formed to contribute to the health and sustainable management of undeveloped public and private lands in the Agua Fria River Basin. It seeks to protect physical and biological components of open space through research, education, and effective management.

More and more habitat in this watershed is being converted to development, and with human activities come invasive species and degraded habitat.

“Historical observations indicate that the desert grassland of the lower valleys was once home to thousands of antelope and myriad other creatures…. In the year 2000 only a few hundred antelope could be found, and about a third of these are expected to disappear during the next decade or two.”

The Agua Fria Open Space Alliance’s principal goals are to:

  1. Inventory and monitor wildlife, vegetation, invasive plants and animals, and ecological conditions.
  2. Design educational materials and experiences.
  3. Encourage protection and restoration of native plant and animal communities.

The blog encourages inhabitants to “step out our doors to see native vegetation, birds, and insects.”

From November 28, 2011
The photograph shows a Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa).  I nominate this species to become the emblematic butterfly for the Agua Fria River Basin.  The Mourning Cloak is truly at home among the willows and cottonwoods growing along the Agua Fria River in the heart of the Basin.  Mourning Cloaks mate in early spring, but I have seen adults flying beside the river on sunny days in all months of the year.

The transfer of significance from the past to the future
Dr. Rogers, the blog’s author, uses direct observation and compelling words to describe the world around him. In this way he’s part of a fine tradition of conservation, one definition of which is what another nature writer, Paul Evans called “the transfer of significance from the past to the future.”


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NC Wildlife Resources Commission

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission joins the Conservation Registry’s growing family of portals.

NC Wildlife Resources Commission is one of the first to adapt and customize their very own, highly specialized Conservation Registry portal and mapping tool.

Gina LaRocco, the Conservation Registry’s program manager, worked closely with North Carolina staff to adapt the portal template for their needs: “The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission provided us with an opportunity to create one of our first highly customized portals.  We added map overlays relevant to state conservation initiatives and also set up a crosswalk between goals identified in North Carolina’s Wildlife Action Plan and a project’s actions.”





Priority habitats map layer in the NCWRC portal. Dark green represents maximum priority.





Managed areas map layer in the NCWRC portal. Light blue represents federal lands.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission projects to watch:
Conservation of the Gopher Frog in North Carolina.
Inland Heronry Surveys


National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Portal

Photo by Ryan Hagerty

Photo by Ryan Hagerty

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently launched its portal in the Conservation Registry! The portal will show the world where the Foundation is making conservation investments to protect native species and their native habitats.

Congress created the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 1984 to help direct public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and match those dollars with private funds. The Foundation prides itself on their creative and pragmatic approach to doing conservation and they have contributed to some of the most innovative projects, ranging from teaching Whooping Cranes to fly to creating a market-based program for river restoration.

Registry portal’s give agencies and organizations a way to share what they’re doing on-the-ground with others, visualize their projects in a larger context, and tailor the Registry’s features to fit their own needs. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation needed a way to track and share their projects on a map in a very easy-to-use, publicly accessible manner and creating a portal provided them with that capability.

View the portal here. Check out the Foundation’s web site here.

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Climate Change Adaptation–from Sara O’Brien

Salt Creek, Death Valley, California

Salt Creek, Death Valley, California

Registry staff will soon roll out some changes to make it easier to use the Conservation Registry to track climate change adaptation activities. The idea behind climate change adaptation is to start planning now for the unavoidable effects of climate change — the ones that we’re already committed to, despite our best efforts to reduce emissions. In fact we’re already starting to see many of these changes on the ground today, so we know it’s important to make sure the conservation work we do now will still make sense in a rapidly changing climate.

In talking about how to best track adaptation activities, we’ve had to face up to some interesting questions about climate change and conservation: What is climate change adaptation, exactly? How do we know it when we see it? How can we figure out what’s adaptive and what’s not in a world where future conditions are so uncertain? Are all conservation actions climate-adaptive? Are there actions we should take specifically to prepare for and adapt to the consequences of climate change?

We don’t have any pat answers to these questions yet… if you do, please share them in the comments! Perhaps Dr. Lara Hansen has it figured out:

“Today, everything we do, every decision we make, every plan we put into place is either planning for climate change (adaptation) or it’s done without regard for the reality of climate change (maladaptation)… Adaptation is the new lens through which we must view the world and make decisions in it, if we want them to be good, robust decisions.”

What do you think? Can climate change adaptation be found in making sure every decision we make is climate-smart? Or is there something more to it? Comment below.
–Sara O’Brien, Defenders of Wildlife

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