Event Title

A Riparian Conservation Network to Develop Ecological Resilience

Presenter Information

Alexander K. Fremier

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

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Abstract

One of the most significant challenges to species conservation in the 21st century is how to foster species long- term survival in increasingly fragmented and dynamic environments of the Anthropocene. Going forward, land management actions must consider resilience – the ability of species survive through peak climatic-related events, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat loss. Habitat connectivity is a key attribute of resilience; yet, re- building connectivity has proven a difficult restoration task. Here, we propose building habitat connectivity through further coordinated efforts to protect and restore riparian ecosystems. Increased efforts to protect streamside areas further society’s acknowledgement that these lands provide key ecosystem services and can help further connect current protected areas to promote survival. We provide evidence that a riparian area network has the potential to connect existing protected areas, that significant riparian area conservation is already occurring and needs to be further coordinated, and that this solution is scalable through policy and administrative coordination rather than the initiation of new legislation.

Comments

Alexander K. Fremier is an Assistant Professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University. Dr. Fremier is a trained ecologist with interests in coupling ecological and geomorphic processes to better understand ecosystem transformation.

Michael Kiparsky is Associate Director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy at Berkeley Law. Dr. Kiparsky has worked on both technical and policy aspects of water resources management, and his overarching professional interest lies at the intersection between the two.

J. Michael Scott is a Professor Emeritus and Distinguish Professor at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. Dr. Scott has devoted a lifetime to the study and conservation of the world’s rarest species.

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Oct 21st, 3:30 PM Oct 21st, 4:00 PM

A Riparian Conservation Network to Develop Ecological Resilience

USU Eccles Conference Center

One of the most significant challenges to species conservation in the 21st century is how to foster species long- term survival in increasingly fragmented and dynamic environments of the Anthropocene. Going forward, land management actions must consider resilience – the ability of species survive through peak climatic-related events, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat loss. Habitat connectivity is a key attribute of resilience; yet, re- building connectivity has proven a difficult restoration task. Here, we propose building habitat connectivity through further coordinated efforts to protect and restore riparian ecosystems. Increased efforts to protect streamside areas further society’s acknowledgement that these lands provide key ecosystem services and can help further connect current protected areas to promote survival. We provide evidence that a riparian area network has the potential to connect existing protected areas, that significant riparian area conservation is already occurring and needs to be further coordinated, and that this solution is scalable through policy and administrative coordination rather than the initiation of new legislation.