The Landscape Conservation Bulletin
A bi-monthly publication of the Network  for 
Landscape Conservation
January 2018
Dear Network Friends and Partners,

As we  turn our calendars  to 2018, momentum for landscape conservation continues to grow. This issue of the Bulletin reflects both the successes of the last two decades (see the stories on wildlife bridges) and the technological advances of the last few years (see the stories on applying artificial intelligence to conservation).
This issue also explores important issues such as urban landscape conservation, and the collaborative process skills necessary to connect people and nature in new and enduring ways.
However the political winds may blow, it is clear that people on the ground want to conserve the landscapes they call home and are finding creative ways to move forward. Please enjoy this Bulletin and share your own stories with us.

Emily M. Bateson
Network Coordinator

In This Issue
Featured News
Cascade Crossroads: The I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition
Cascade Crossroads: The I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition
Banff's wildlife bridges turn 20 - and innovations and successes continue to build around connectivity and wildlife corridors in human landscapes

In late 2017 Parks Canada marked the 20th anniversary of the completion of the first wildlife overpass in Banff National Park, a first-of-its-kind innovation to address wildlife-vehicle collisions, habitat fragmentation, and disrupted migration routes in an area of rapid infrastructure development. Despite much skepticism on the effectiveness of such structures 20 years ago, the successes in and around Banff have transformed the field of transportation ecology - and sparked similar innovations in other landscapes. In Washington state, an infrastructure improvement project along the I-90 corridor through the Cascades is underway and represents a tremendous success story of partnership around transportation projects. And in the Adirondacks of New York, The Nature Conservancy and partners are pioneering low-cost "critter shelves" ( video and more information) as a connectivity solution to busy roadways. 

Enabling Precision Conservation in Chesapeake Bay: Microsoft & Chesapeake Conservancy
Enabling Precision Conservation in Chesapeake Bay: Microsoft & Chesapeake Conservancy

AIFeatured News
Leveraging technology for conservation: Microsoft launches "AI for Earth" Initiative

In today's world of "big data," technology advances are ever-accelerating and new innovations for the application of data and technology are constantly emerging - including innovations on leveraging high-tech tools for conservation at the landscape scale. In December, Microsoft announced a new "AI for Earth" initiative, pledging $50 million over five years to apply artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in addressing the world's most pressing environmental issues. A recent Nature article by the firm's chief environment scientist makes the case for technology investments in conservation. The Chesapeake Conservancy, in collaboration with Esri, has been an early partner with Microsoft, applying deep-learning technologies to convert high-resolution imagery of the Chesapeake Bay watershed into land-cover maps at a 1-meter resolutions - maps that contain 900 times more information than those previously available, and ones that can be readily updated any time new images become available. A recent Bloomberg Environment article explained how the Conservancy is working to use this data to undergird its efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay's 64,000-square-mile watershed. 

Featured News
Conservation Finance Network launches a Conservation Finance Toolkit

The Conservation Finance Network has launched a new toolkit to guide practitioners through topics and tools for the financing of conservation. The conservation finance toolkit is an online resource structured around a series of articles that cover select financing tools, representing a broad range of complexity and size of funding opportunity. Tailored for the practitioner, the articles are intended to guide the user through a specific financing tool, including how to get started with the tool, when its use may be appropriate, and common challenges and pitfalls in using the tool. The toolkit is expanding, and new articles will be regularly added to help practitioners harness the growing array of innovative mechanisms available for financing conservation.  

UrbanFeatured News
The value of collaborative partnerships: a study examines the Interwine Alliance 

The Intertwine Alliance, an Oregon-based coalition of more than 150 public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to integrate nature more deeply into the greater Portland metropolitan region, partnered with researchers at Portland State University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions to undertake a study of the Alliance and use it as a pathway for exploring the impact, depth, and benefits of partnerships. The study findings have just been released in a report, Exploring the Relationship between Collaborative Partnerships and Outcomes. Focusing on specific Alliance projects and programs, the report finds transformative rather than incremental impacts: the study suggests that collaborative partnership networks can increase the pace and scale of outcomes, and have multiple benefits that reach far beyond environmental improvements. An executive summary is available, as is a narrative, long-form journalism article, Restoring the Tualatin River Valley. The Alliance has also created an interactive, multi-media website to weave short partner stories and videos together with the groundbreaking study to tell the story of the power of partnership.   

Perspectives: Landscape Conservation in Action 
Process skills in action: a BLM Resource Advisory Council session
Soft"Soft Skills" -- What are they really? 

Reflections on a reoccurring theme at the National Forum on Landscape Conservation

At this past November's National Forum on Landscape Conservation, the conversation frequently circled back to what was often called the "soft skills" of landscape conservation. The regularity with which these skills were referenced suggests that perhaps such skills are so central and critical to the practice of landscape conservation that thinking about them as "soft" is less than helpful.  Peter Williams,  Associate Director of the Partnership and Community Collaboration Academy reflects on what he heard during the National Forum, and on this broader theme. When we use the term "soft skills," what do we mean? Drawing on his expertise, Peter  explores the question and points to several resources and trainings that already exist to advance  the  conversation and practice in meaningful ways.  

Additional Landscape Conservation News

BioScience Viewpoint article, The Future of Landscape Conservation, draws attention to the importance of -- and continued need for -- Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

Explaining "Connectivity Conservation" to the layperson in one minute: the Center for Large Landscape Conservation produces an animated video on understanding why wildlife corridors matter
Peninsula Open Space Trust creates interactive graphic to explain how healthy, functional "landscape linkages" can support the movement of plants and animals.

Yale E360 articles explores growing trend to look beyond protected areas to consider conservation in human landscapes

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, a documentary film released this fall that is based on a book of the same name, journeys through the interconnected landscapes of America's heartland to unearth unconventional conservation stories and show the near-universal love of the land that is found throughout America.
Watch the film trailer or learn more about the film and book 

Taking a "landscape first" approach to urban climate resilience: articles explores Boston's recent report, "Climate Resilience Solutions for East Boston and Charlestown"
Read the  article here, or read the  executive summary or  full report 

Assessing Landscape Governance: A Participatory Approach manual published Tropenbos International and EcoAgriculture Partners to help multi-stakeholder initiatives better understand and track governance in their landscapes
Learn more  here  or explore the manual
Web-based story map launched to highlight the National Conservation Easement Database and conservation easement success stories

Voters passed local and state ballot measures providing more than $1.5 billion for parks and conservation in November election cycle

NatureServe releases web app to guide climate-smart land restoration and native plantings
Note: NatureServe is actively looking for beta-testers and feedback
Navigating human-wildlife interactions: Ensia article highlights how ranchers are innovating in Montana around grizzly bear, wolf, and cattle coexistence

Geos Institute report highlights the climate- and human-influenced wildlife era in western forests
Read the report

Trust for Public Land releases report assessing the economic benefits of Great Outdoors Colorado and The Conservation Trust Fund 
Read fact sheet or explore the full report 

A new report from The Nature Conservancy measures the economic value of forests in the eastern United States

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment special issue on "translational ecology" explores connecting science to practice

New international report released by Clarmondial and the World Wildlife Fund, " Capitalising Conservation," provides a practical framework for conservation organizations to evaluate opportunities for mobilizing private investment in conservation 

Study published in Ecological Modeling highlights value of urban forests and conserving nature within cities for making megacities healthier and more sustainable 

Upcoming Conferences & Opportunities

Potential funding  opportunities with upcoming application deadlines: 
  • The Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative is accepting applications for its Small Grant Program through March 1, 2018

systematic review of connectivity conservation plans has been recently initiated, with the study team looking t o assess how well wildlife corridor  conservation plans are implemented. Click here for more information on how to submit conservation plans for the study and on  how to join the study as a collaborator. 

Portland, OR

Tucson, AZ

Salt Lake City, UT

Norfolk, VA 
Fort Collins, CO

September 12-14, 2018 -- Global Climate Action Summit
San Francisco, CA

Webinars & Additional Resources

Adventure Scientists: World-class explorers help scientists collect elusive data
A National Park Service "Scaling Up" webinar
February 7, 2018

Forest Management and Warming Effects on southwestern US river flow
A Conservation Biology Institute webinar
February 15, 2018

The Heart of the Rockies: Completing a terrestrial invasive plant model for the Crown of the Continent
A National Park Service "Scaling Up" webinar
March 7, 2018

A National Park Service "Scaling Up" webinar
April 18, 2018

A weekly podcast that explores the challenges presented by adapting to climate change and the approaches the field's best minds believe are already working.
The Network for Landscape Conservation is the community of practice for practitioners advancing collaborative, cross-boundary conservation as an essential approach to protect nature, community, and culture in the 21st Century.

Contact Emily Bateson, Network Coordinator, for more information. 

Contributions of news, upcoming events, and resources for future Bulletins are welcomed. We welcome too inquires for future "Perspectives: Landscapes Conservation in Action" stories; please be in touch if you are interested in sharing stories and insights from your work.