With funding from the SW CSC, research was conducted to identify Bureau of Land Management administered roadless lands with relatively high conservation values in 11 contiguous western states. These areas possessed important ecological indicators of high biodiversity, resilience to climate change, and landscape connectivity. This research also identified 117 potential conservation priority areas, primarily located in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada. Managers and stakeholders can use these results to guide landscape planning and conservation efforts.
The current drought is the hottest and driest period California has seen in at least 1,200 years, according to new research using tree-ring samples. Droughts are fairly common in California, so the current lack of precipitation is not necessarily unusual, but the 2014 drought was magnified by as much as 36 percent by unusually high temperatures. The study concludes that future “hot” droughts are assured and will be a substantial influence on future water resources supply and management.
Conservation and management increasingly involve patchworks of ecosystems spanning a gradient from relatively natural to highly altered. In some cases, novel ecosystems - ecosystems that are radically altered from historical conditions – may have compelling conservation values such as providing habitat, and these values should be considered in landscape management. Incorporating novel as well as historical ecosystems into conservation planning can increase the range of options available to managers, advancing conservation goals given available resources.