Spring 2018 - In This Issue:
©The Nature Conservancy
News from Staying Connected

As the days grow longer and the landscape grows greener, across the region our partners' work in the field is getting underway. This includes citizen science, meetings with landowners, site visits, road surveys, and transportation construction projects. At the same time, we are also busy planning for a number of partnership events in the coming year:  an in-person gathering in Massachusetts in September, a webinar series during the fall and next winter, and an all-partners retreat in May 2019. We look forward to your participation!

Thanks to the SCI partners profiled in this newsletter for sharing their stories to  inspire all of us working to sustain a connected landscape i n the northern Appalachians. If you have a story to share for a future newsletter,  please get in touch

Enjoy the rest of spring and the beginning of summer!
Jessie Levine,  SCI Coordinator
SCI Webinar Series

Beginning this September and leading up to the SCI all-partners retreat next May, SCI will be hosting a series of webinars on a variety of connectivity conservation topics. Please join us for the first of these webinars:
  • September 26, 10 AM Eastern Time: Using TNC's Resilient and Connected Lands Data for Connectivity Conservation. Click here to register. 
  • November 7, 10 AM Eastern Time: Land Use Planning for a Connected Landscape. Click here to register.
  • December 5, 10 AM Eastern Time: Assessing and Monitoring Highways for Wildlife Movement. Click here to register.
If you have suggestions for webinar topics, please contact Jessie Levine. 
Land Protection in SCI's Northern New England Linkage Areas

© Trust for Public Land
Thanks to the Trust for Public Land, SCI partners can now see land protection accomplishments in SCI's northern New England linkages over the past decade. Shown in green are public and private conserved lands in the SCI linkages in northern Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire in 2008, the year the Staying Connected Initiative was launched. In red are lands that were permanently conserved between 2008 and 2018. The amount of land conserved - more than 433,000 acres - increased by 28% during the ten-year period . The extra collaboration, additional funding from public and private sources, and use of new science by Staying Connected partners helped solidify many of these efforts. For more information,  contact Kate Wanner.
Connectivity and Climate Change Adaptation in  Quebec

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has launched a project to promote ecological corridors in southern Quebec. This project aims to link Quebec's conservation initiatives with those of neighboring provinces and states in a common vision that integrates ecological and social climate change adaptation. To foster the success of ecological connectivity, NCC has adopted an integrated and multi-sectoral approach inspired by the Staying Connected Initiative.
Until April 2020, NCC and its partners will be working in five major natural corridors in southern Quebec. The planned activities aim to mobilize and engage key stakeholders in land use planning and resource management in climate change adaptation; these include municipalities and regional municipalities, forest managers, watershed associations, citizens, researchers, and governments. NCC is working closely with organizations responsible for implementing actions in each of the five connectivity zones: Appalachian Corridor, Nature-Action-Québec, Éco-Corridors Laurentiens, Conseil régional de l'environnement du Centre-du-Québec, et Horizon-Nature-Bas-Saint-Laurent. Engaging with the Staying Connected Initiative allows for networking among partners in Quebec, New Brunswick, and the United States to ensure effective coordination across borders and to promote the exchange of information and existing tools.
More than 50 experts and stakeholders have joined the initiative to help advance the project. These include partners from the research community, forestry, tourism, and protected areas, along with municipal and government agencies. In the co ming months, project managers in each connectivity area will develop a social marketing strategy. They will also organize outreach activities to target audiences to develop "co-constructi on workshops" in each of the project areas.  For more information,   read NCC's press release or  contact Kateri Monticone.

Made possible thanks to our financial partners:

© The Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Chapter
New Terrestrial Passage Assessment Protocol for Region

Over the past two years, SCI partners from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Maine have worked together to develop a terrestrial passage assessment protocol for road-stream crossings. This protocol provides information about the degree to which existing culverts and bridges allow or inhibit the movement of different types of wildlife under roads. The protocol, scoring system, and instruction guide are now completed, and partners in Massachusetts will apply the methods on a section of the Massachusetts Turnpike in the Green Mountains to Hudson Highlands linkage area this summer. Partners are seeking funding so that terrestrial passage data collected with this protocol can be automatically scored and housed in the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative database . For more information, contact Jessie Levine .
©The Network for Landscape Conservation

The State of Landscape Conservation Initiatives in North America

The Network for Landscape Conservation recently released a summary report of its 2017 survey of landscape conservation initiatives across North America, of which SCI was a contributor. T he survey and summary report represent an important contribution to the field, providing a concrete understanding of the emergence of landscape conservation as a powerful and essential trend, and bringing clarity to how landscape conservation initiatives are operating and evolving on the ground.  SCI partners are encouraged to  use the report to highlight our own work to colleagues, funders, and others, and to explain how SCI fits within the burgeoning landscape conservation field.
Launch of Citizen Science Program in Chignecto

In partnership with the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, and Dalhousie University, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has launched the WildPaths Maritimes program to enhance conservation and improve safety for both wildlife and people in the Chignecto Isthmus linkage area. The program is modeled and named after Cold Hollow to Canada's WildPaths program, which in turn drew from Maine Audubon's Road Watch project; this is a great example of the benefits of the
Moose tracks on NS Route 366,  ©Amelia Barnes

SCI network!

This summer, Dalhousie University graduate student Amelia Barnes is surveying select road segments in the linkage. NCC will be publicly promoting the project and inviting citizen scientists to  submit observations on the WildPaths Maritimes iNaturalist app . NCC and partners  will recruit volunteers and offer training this fall to expand and continue road segment surveys. The goal of the program is to use the data collected to inform development decisions and form a basis for determining mitigation options in transportation planning. For more information, contact Paula Noel .
© Q2C
Science to Connect Beyond SCI Linkages

SCI partners in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Quebec are sharing SCI tools, including science, to ensure that the Northern Appalachians remains connected to neighboring ecoregions. One current example of this effort is work of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in New Hampshire to support the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership (Q2C), which spans north-central Massachusetts to the White Mountains in New Hampshire (focal area shown in light green on map). As Q2C updates its conservation plan, TNC is providing a connectivity analysis using a creative approach for incorporating the Resilient and Connected Landscapes analysis (Anderson et al, 2016). This SCI-driven science will help sustain landscape connections between the Northern Appalachians and adjacent forests. Learn more about Q2C or contact Pete Steckler for more information about this analysis.
© Appalachian Corridor
New Turtle Passage in the Northern Green Mountains of Quebec

Appalachian Corridor recently partnered with Quebec's ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports (MTMDET) and ministère de la Faune, des Forêts et des Parcs (MFFP), to install a crossing structure for turtles and other small animals in Bolton-Est. The site was already slated for rehabilitation, and thanks to monitoring work that identified this location as a hotspot for turtle collisions, partners were able to optimize the replacement for wildlife passage. This is the first crossing of its kind developed by the MTMDET in Quebec and serves as a cost-effective, replicable solution for other parts of Canada and beyond. The photo shows open slots in the roadway, designed to let natural light into the dry concrete passage below. Fencing on both sides of the road will guide animals to the passage. For more information, read the press release or contact Mylène Alarie.
Upcoming Events
The Staying Connected Initiative promotes wildlife habitat connections in an increasingly fragmented landscape. This unique cross-border public/private collaboration includes over 45 partners, spanning five northeastern U.S. states and three Canadian provinces, working to ensure that people and wildlife thrive together.