A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Connectivity among conservation reserves has long been recognized as necessary for long-term persistence of populations and continued evolution in anthropogenically-dominated landscapes. Long-distance connectivity becomes increasingly important in the face of climate change, to allow species to shift their ranges in response to changing conditions. In the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project, we are modeling landscape response to climate change and urban growth in the Northeast over the next 70 years. We model response both by representative species and in a coarse-filter assessment of ecological integrity. In this talk, I'll focus on how we assess connectivity at both local and regional scales, with the goal of assisting practitioners in protecting and restoring important connections among reserves.