It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since I started. There’s so much amazing work going on in this region. I feel incredibly lucky that I go to work everyday thinking about how to bring those efforts together to help respond to the big changes we’re all seeing across the landscape. I’m also really enjoying connecting with all of you to learn about the issues you’re dealing with and the lessons you’ve learned over the years about what works in partnerships and what it takes to get conservation on the ground. For those of you who I haven’t been lucky enough to talk with (either in a meeting room, in a stream, or over a pint), I’ll do my best to make sure we have a chance to get to know each other. Meanwhile, feel free to give me a call or send me an email any time with ideas about what your LCC could be doing better.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of a number of folks in your LCC, including members of the inter-agency scoping team, SALCC committees (Steering, Parnership, and Communications), and web community, a ton of stuff has happened since I first started:
- The SALCC website, originally developed by Jennifer Strickland, now has 365 members and has had more than 10,000 visits since I started. Most visitors to the website come back multiple times.
- Members of the Rivers and Streams, Aquatic Invasives, Geospatial, and Technology Transfer groups on the website have had, and continue to have, specific chances to help guide the direction of your LCC. For those of you that’ve created a group that I haven’t gotten to yet, just know that I’m working on it.
- The Steering Committee, Partnership Committee, and Communication Committee were all established.
- Thanks to the Partnership Committee and Steering Committee, five really great projects were funded for this year.
- By the end of this month, your LCC will have full time capacity to deal with GIS, socioeconomic and cultural resources, Gulf of Mexico issues, and information transfer. Staff positions have been partly or entirely funded by FWS, NPS, USFS, and NOAA. Office space has been provided by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission.
- Your LCC is starting to work in more detail with diverse groups like the NC Longleaf Coalition, Marine Corps, State water managers, and National Wildlife Refuges to try incorporate future looking, landscape-scale science products into specific on the ground projects.
I’m sure I’m missing a number of things in those bullets above but those should give you a taste of what’s been happening. Now it’s time to look to the future. Your LCC just started a rapid strategic planning effort. The goal is to have a draft 3-5 page plan by the end of the year. If you haven’t yet, please take the survey to help guide what the staff of your LCC focuses on for the next few years.
Thanks again to everyone who have shared their time and thoughts so far. The LCC is making some great progress and you’re all a huge help in taking it to the next level!