The Landscape Conservation Bulletin
A bi-monthly service of the Network for 
Landscape Conservation
January 2022
Dear Network Friends,

As we turn into the New Year, this continues to be an exciting moment for landscape conservation. At the end of 2021, the Administration released the first annual progress report on the America the Beautiful initiative and the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. And the bipartisan Infrastructure Law promises to deliver significant new funding to accelerate the conservation and stewardship of our landscapes (more below).

Last week, the Network for Landscape Conservation was pleased to partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society to convene a national forum on the “Future of Conservation.” Building upon our 2020-2021 virtual policy forum series, the Forum was intended to generate recommendations for changes in policies, programs, and partnerships to improve and accelerate conservation. Across two days, the almost 200 people that accepted an invitation to join the forum broke into working groups to think critically about where the conservation movement needs to evolve in the face of systems-level challenges like the interconnected climate, biodiversity, and environmental justice crises.

We encourage you to take the time to watch the opening plenary panel discussion, which brought forward visions for the future of conservation and restoration of North America’s landscapes from a variety of differing perspectives. This Forum is a waypoint in an on-going conversation, and we know in landscapes throughout the country you each are exploring visions for what the future of conservation can mean for our lands, waters, and communities—we look forward to hearing from all of you as the conversation continues to build!
In This Issue
Conservation Implications of the Infrastructure Law
Nature-vs-Human Dichotomy
National Landscape Conservation Initiative Survey
Additional Landscape Conservation News
Upcoming Events
Landscape Conservation Job Board
Webinars & Additional Resources
Ernest Cook
Network Director
Cover photo: Sunrise at Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, Colorado. Credit: Frankie Lopez on Unsplash.
Featured News
Understanding the landscape conservation implications of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
In mid-November President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, and with it comes an influx of new funding that will advance conservation objectives at a landscape scale. An article from Conservation Corridor provides a succinct overview of the law’s implications for wildlife conservation, highlighting in particular the launch of the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program as well as the new-found eligibility of wildlife crossing and habitat connectivity projects under other, more general transportation funding programs. Additionally, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation has released a new toolkit intended to help eligible applicants develop effective projects under the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. Further, the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership is hosting a webinar on Monday, January 31 that will explore what the Infrastructure Law means for forest collaboratives. Elsewhere, in mid-December the Highstead Foundation posted an article that synthesized takeaways from its annual RCP Gathering and considered implications of the Infrastructure Law on land and environmental justice.
Featured News
“It occurs to humanity that it has lost its spouse:” Reflections on the nature-vs-human dichotomy and implications for conservation
A year on from Barry Lopez’s passing, Emergence Magazine has published an essay (accompanied by a new documentary) exploring his legacy and writing. A theme that emerges powerfully in the essay—and in his writing—is Lopez’s understanding of human culture vis-à-vis its connection to place. In his travels through the Arctic, Lopez came to understand that Inuit communities considered white North American culture to be lonely; he notes, “One of the reasons we’re lonely is that we’ve cut ourselves off from the nonhuman world and have called this ‘progress.’” Elsewhere, writing in Yale E360 and expanding upon a recent article he co-authored in Frontiers in Conservation Science, Carl Safina explores the “Nature Needs Half” framing and its problematic reinforcing of a nature-vs-human dichotomy—and underscores that protecting half the planet and transforming human systems are complementary goals. 

Lopez’s lifework and Safina’s reflections on “Nature Needs Half” call us to reflect on the perspectives and assumptions that we bring to our work. The degree to which we can bridge this nature-vs-human dichotomy—so embedded in white North American culture—seems critical to addressing the interwoven biodiversity, climate, and environmental justice crises, all of which are systems-level challenges rooted in both biophysical and social systems. As the Emergence Magazine essay notes, Lopez saw “lone hero” stories as no longer relevant in the era of the Anthropocene, where the scale of the problems dwarf the capacities of any single hero. What are needed, he suggested, are stories of the heroism of communities, in the image of a murmuration of starlings: “To behold starlings is to take in something beautiful, a coordinated effort to do something in which there’s no leader, no hero.” Stories of collaborative landscape conservation it seems are one form of stories of heroic communities, and bringing these stories into reality in ways that reconnect us—to one another in a society that is currently so fractured but also to all that is nonhuman—seems critical to the future of the landscapes in which we live. 
Featured News
National survey of landscape conservation initiatives remains open
Late last year, the Network for Landscape Conservation launched a national survey of landscape conservation initiatives. The survey will remain open through the end of February, and we encourage you to share your landscape conservation initiative if you have not done so yet.

This current survey builds upon one that we conducted in late 2016 and early 2017, which is summarized here. Five years on from that initial survey, we are again surveying the field to:
  • Track the growth and development of the landscape conservation movement, and;
  • Identify challenges and needs facing the landscape conservation community.

The survey is intended for people organizing, coordinating, or participating in a landscape conservation initiative in North America, and should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Individual responses to this survey will remain confidential, as data will be aggregated regionally and nationally for analysis.

We very much look forward to sharing the results widely in the coming months, as this is a pivotal moment in the conservation movement. We believe that a clearer understanding of where the landscape conservation movement stands and the challenges and/or needs we face will better position us all to accelerate critical efforts to sustain the ecological integrity of our landscapes and foster a more just and equitable future for our human communities.
Additional Landscape Conservation News
Does advancing an audacious landscape vision lead to measurable conservation advances? The Yellowstone-to-Yukon example suggests the answer is yes, as a new paper tracks five conservation metrics to highlight the major conservation gains that have been achieved over the last 25 years in the landscape.

The Department of the Interior is accepting comments through March 4 on the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a new tool that will be used to reflect baseline information on the lands and waters that are conserved or restored.

In early December the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies partnered in launching a new Landscape Conservation Task Force.

Article in Eos explores how Indigenous perspectives and insights can inform strategies for sea level rise adaptation in the Northeast.

In early December the Land Trust Alliance released the results of its 2020 National Land Trust Census, which documents more than 61 million acres of land voluntarily conserved nation-wide. 

L.A. Times article highlights how Tribes in the Colorado River watershed are playing an increasingly large role in managing the scarce water resources. 

In early December the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced a $30 million award from the Bezos Earth Fund to support conservation projects that generate overlapping benefits across three urgent areas of concern: advancing carbon goals to mitigate climate change, conserving wildlife biodiversity, and boosting the resilience of communities across the nation. 

Article in the Living Landscape Observer presents a case study of a 1966 march by farmworkers through California’s Central Valley to explore how the sociocultural meaning of landscapes can be understood through labor history. 

Post from the Environmental Dispute Resolution program at the University of Utah highlights work that the Western Collaborative Conservation Network has done over the last two years to envision opportunities to enhance federal agency capacity for using collaborative problem solving. 

Article in The Narwhal highlights the ‘biggest land use plan in the world’ under development for Nunavut, the largest and northern-most territory in Canada. 

In January the U.S. Forest Service released a 10-year strategy to confront the wildfire crisis, outlining a plan to work with partners to focus fuels and forest health treatments more strategically and at the scale of the problem.

New analysis from the Center for American Progress suggests that nature’s carbon sequestration capacity is currently shrinking in America—but that achieving the 30x30 goal would reverse the trend and stabilize the potential for our natural landscapes to provide long-term carbon benefits. 

Mongabay article highlights the need for ecosystem restoration monitoring and tracking, the strides that have been made in that direction, and the additional work that is needed to secure globally accurate tracking.  

Emergence Magazine launches a three-part audio story a Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their ancestral home in Northern California in Port Reyes National Seashore and one woman’s mission to bring the living history of her family back to the land—and explores how remembering and retelling inclusive histories has the power to create a more just future.
Explore the audio stories or read the companion essay

Article in Bloomberg highlights the launch of the Central Park Climate Lab, a new research facility in New York City's most famous park to study climate change-induced deterioration of urban parks and natural forested areas, and help parks in cities around the world manage and protect their green spaces in the face of climate change.

The Conservation Finance Network highlights three case studies of where organizations are using conservation finance strategies to advance environmental justice outcomes.
Upcoming Conferences & Events

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Salt Lake City, UT

March 29-31, 2022 — SECASC Regional Science Symposium
Gulf Coast, Alabama

March 29-31, 2022 — The Nature of Cities 2022 Festival
A virtual festival

A virtual conference
Pala, CA

Landscape Conservation Job Board

* * *

Chief Executive Officer, Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance

Policy Director, Heart of the Rockies Initiative

Senior Coordinator, Riparian Connectivity, National Wildlife Federation

Senior Program Manager, Mississippi River, National Wildlife Federation

Conservation Connect Fellowship Program
A fellowship program for graduate students administered by the National Forest Foundation

This section of the Landscape Conservation Bulletin is intended to be a space to share job postings that will be specifically relevant to landscape conservation practitioners. We welcome submissions: if your organization would like to widely distribute a posting please be in touch.

Webinars & Additional Resources

* * *
The Highstead Foundation and the Conservation Finance Network are co-hosting a Conservation Finance Learning Lab—to consist of five webinars between December 2021 and April 2022. Learn more and register

An Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership webinar
January 31, 2022

An NPS Connected Conservation webinar
February 2, 2022

A National Forest Foundation Peer Learning webinar
February 3, 2022

An NPS Connected Conservation webinar
February 9, 2022

A NLC Landscape Conservation in Action webinar
February 17, 2022

A four-part webinar series presented by the Quivira Coalition and the Western Landowners Alliance
February 17 and 24, and March 17 and 24, 2022

An NPS Connected Conservation webinar
February 22, 2022

An NPS Connected Conservation webinar
March 8, 2022

Following cancellation of the 2020 Conservation Finance Boot Camp, the Conservation Finance Network compiled a 4-part video short course, which is available via the above link.

A weekly podcast that explores the challenges presented by adapting to climate change and the approaches the field's best minds believe are already working.

A podcast that explores the intersection of social and environmental advocacy, and seeks to uncover the actions people are taking around the world to showcase the symbiotic, yet sometimes tumultuous, relationship between people and nature.

Recordings of past webinars of the Connected Conservation webinar series are available on the National Park Service Connected Conservation website.

Recordings of past NLC Landscape Conservation in Action webinars are available on the Network's Landscape Conservation in Action Webinar Series page.

The Network for Landscape Conservation is the community of practice for practitioners advancing collaborative, cross-boundary conservation as an essential approach to protect nature, culture, and community in the 21st Century.

Contact Ernest Cook, Network Director, for more information. 

Contributions of news, upcoming events, resources, and job postings for future Bulletins are welcomed. We also welcome inquires for potential future "Perspectives: Landscapes Conservation in Action" stories; please be in touch if you are interested in sharing stories and insights from your work.

The Network for Landscape Conservation is a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, P.O. Box 1587, Bozeman, MT 59771