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Dec. 3, 2015


Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Yield Many Early Accomplishments; Measurement of Long-Term Benefits Needs Improvement


WASHINGTON – Because fish, wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources extend beyond political boundaries, there is a national need to develop resource management strategies across jurisdictions and sectors, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), initiated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2009 and coordinated by the department’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), were created to address this national need and can point to many early accomplishments.  Ultimately, the long-term success of this effort will depend on developing ways to measure and demonstrate benefits to its conservation partners and the nation.


At the request of Congress, FWS asked the Academies to convene a committee to evaluate the LCCs, a network of 22 regional conservation partnerships in the United States, including the Pacific and Caribbean islands, as well as parts of Canada and Mexico.  Each LCC is tasked with creating a collaborative framework to develop shared conservation priorities and identify applied research needs across federal agencies, state agencies, tribes, private landholders, and other stakeholders working on conservation efforts within its region.


Individual LCCs have generated some early accomplishments, such as identifying partners, establishing governance structures and steering committees, and developing shared conservation and research priorities for use by all partners, says the report.  It is too soon to expect the network as a whole to have made measurable improvements to managing fish, bird, and other wildlife populations and their habitats.  In addition, the LCC network needs to improve its evaluation process to better capture the contributions made by all partners toward common objectives and to better measure and demonstrate benefits to its partners. 


The report finds that LCCs are unique in that they are designed to address landscape needs at a national level for all natural and cultural resources as well as to bridge conservation research and management.  Similar federal programs are more narrowly focused and the LCCs generally seek to coordinate with other programs where their interests overlap. Moving forward, the LCC network needs to strengthen coordination with other programs that have a strong interest in landscape approaches to conservation to avoid duplicative efforts and limit demands on state agency and other partners that participate in multiple programs.


The study was sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.  They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.  For more information, visit  A committee roster follows.



Jennifer Burris Olson, Media Consultant

Grace Minus, Media Assistant

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; email

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Pre-publication copies of A Review of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are available from the National Academies Press on the Internet at or by calling 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).


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Division on Earth and Life Studies

Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Ocean Studies Board


Committee on the Evaluation of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



Dorothy J. Merritts (chair)

Harry W. and Mary B. Huffnagle Professor of Geosciences, and

Chair, Department of Earth and Environment

Franklin and Marshall College

Lancaster, Pa.


Brenda Barrett

Director of Recreation and Conservation (retired)

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 



F. Stuart Chapin III*

Professor Emeritus

Institute of Arctic Biology

University of Alaska



Holly D. Doremus

James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation,

Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Research, and

Co-Director, Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment

School of Law

University of California



Craig Groves

Executive Director

Science for Nature and People 

The Nature Conservancy

Bozeman, Mont.


Kenneth D. Haddad

Executive Director (retired)

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission



Jessica Hellmann


Institute on the Environment

University of Minnesota

St. Paul


Lynn A. Maguire


Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

Duke University

Durham, N.C.


Philip W. Mote


Oregon Climate Change Research Institute and Oregon Climate Services

College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences

Oregon State University



John A. O'Leary

Assistant Director

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife



Rebecca R. Rubin

President and Chief Executive Officer

Marstel-Day LLC

Fredericksburg, Va.


Dale Strickland

President and Senior Ecologist

Western EcoSystems Technologies Inc.

Cheyenne, Wyo.


Eric Toman

Associate Professor

School of Environment and Natural Resources

Ohio State University




Claudia Mengelt

Study Director



*Member, National Academy of Sciences