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Appalachian LCC Conservation Design

A phased, multi-year effort by Clemson researchers and technical teams is analyzing terrestrial and aquatic resources within the Appalachian LCC geography to help identify places where conservation efforts will be most strategic and effective in achieving conservation goals.

The outcome of this modeling and consultative process will be a dynamic ‘Conservation Blueprint’ or 'Landscape Conservation Design'. This will be a dynamic or living design envisioned as an ongoing consultation with the conservation community - both subject-matter experts and committed stakeholders. Phase I and II are described below. Phase III will begin in August 2016 and focus on implementation of the Landscape Conservation Design. For more information, see the LCC Conservation Design video below.

In Phase I of this effort, the research team used super-computing technology to identify the ecologically significant habitats and natural resources that are connected across the landscape and will be resilient to future threats. Combined, these identified lands and waters cover many critical ecological processes and patterns across the LCC geography.

Phase II - Currently, Appalachian LCC staff are coordinating a series of consultations with experts across the region to ensure priority aquatic species, habitats, and ecosystems are included in the final landscape conservation design. Drs. Paul Leonard and Rob Baldwin of Clemson University will lead discussions conducted via webinars to build on results of the Phase I modeling to include appropriate metrics and threats for assessing aquatic ecological integrity in the region. For more information about the series of consultations and supporting references, go to the Phase 2 Consultation page.

The schedule of webinars for Phase II is as follows. Please note that during weeks when subregion discussions are scheduled, experts are only expected to participate in one session. All sessions are scheduled at 2:00 p.m. eastern:


  • April 7 - Appalachian LCC‐wide - Intro to LCD Phase II Framework and Metrics
  • April 19 - North Subregion - Aquatic Metrics, Condition Assessment Models, and Regional Data
  • April 20 - South Subregion - Metrics, Models, and Data
  • April 21 - West Subregion - Metrics, Models, and Data
  • May 10 - North Subregion - Threats to Aquatic Ecosystems, Metrics Scale
  • May 11 - South Subregion - Threats and Metrics
  • May 12 - West Subregion - Threats and Metrics
  • Postponed - Appalachian LCC‐wide - Final review of Framework, Metrics, Threats

For additional information or questions, please contact one of the Assistant Coordinators:

  • Mary Davis, Assistant Coordinator for the Southern Appalachian and Western River Basin Subregions [ ]
  • Ginny Kreitler, Assistant Coordinator for the Central Appalachian Mountain Subregion (NY, PA, MD, OH, VA, WV) []


Video Overview of LCC Conservation Design: Paul Leonard of Clemson University provides an overview of the Appalachian LCC Conservation Design research. The first part of the presentation focuses on phase one of the project, which identified key conservation elements in the region that are essential for sustaining biodiversity and the benefits of nature. He then summaries the next steps in the research, where Clemson researchers and technical teams will refine the initial phase by selecting metrics of aquatic integrity o fit into the conservation design framework, determine resolution for region-wide aquatic integrity index, and discuss major threats to aquatic systems and determine best scale to examine integrity.