Rua Mordecai and I attended a NFWF-sponsored meeting at the Jones Center in South Georgia last week and he asked that I post a short summary of the meeting. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation convened the meeting to discuss some potential approaches such as using a decision support system to guide their funding strategy for longleaf restoration and methodologies for assessing desired future condition/ecological integrity of longleaf dominated communities, especially as it applies to target wildlife species. After a lively 2 1/2 day meeting, participants agreed that the highest priorities for next steps were to:
1) continue development of a decision support tool that could help NFWF and other agencies more effectively allocate resources towards longleaf conservation
2) encourage NatureServe and USFWS staff to combine parallel efforts to develop metrics that will help land managers more easily understand desired condition for wildlife habitat and ecological integrity
3) continue to explore the obstacles to creating a rangewide map of longleaf habitat and condition of longleaf stands.
I’ll be working on #2, so contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any interest in hearing more about our approach to creating easy-to-use metrics to look at condition of longleaf pine dominated communities.