Conservation GIS Alliance Meeting 1997

1997 was the second annual meeting of what was being called the "Conservation GIS Alliance". The meeting was dominated by vigorous discussion of becoming a formal incorporated non-profit organization, and many committees and tasks were formed that were coordinated in the following months by Sandra Coveny and Kai Snyder.
























SCGIS 1997 Group Photo (click for larger version)


Pictured 1997 Conservation GIS Alliance Meeting:
Ban Lian Ng, Marco Vinicio Castro, Sasha Yumakaev, George Chaplin, Chris Cogan, Scott Murray, Mike Hamilton, Kai Snyder, Heidi VanEveren, Easy, Keith Reynolds, Will Allen, Tim Bechtold, John Mangimeli, Marco Morais, Brian Cohen, ?, Robert Parker, Tom Moritz, Ken Vance-Borland, Karen Gaffney, Wilfredo Segura, Robin Silver, David Askov, Carlos Scaramuzza, Peter Morrison, Bill Martin, Sandra Coveny, Lisa LaCivita, Sue Britting, Page Else, Rixanne Wehren, Bette Loiselle, Janice Thomson, Gillian Bowser, Macon Cowles, Christina Casado, Leslie Backus, Thomas Blaschke, Barbara Charry, Dave Chipping, Jorge Fallas Gamboa, Pat Lineback, Charles Convis, Steven Day, ?, Roberta Pickert, Mike Biltonen




SCGIS 1997 Agenda

Saturday, July 5th

1. SAT - 9:30a - 10:00a
Will Allen
Director, Conservation GIS Solutions
Cheryl Crupi
The Conservation Fund
voice: 919.967.2223
Fax: 919.967.9702
GIS Design for Regional Conservation Planning
Discussion of the project at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near
Chicago, IL and the development of conservation GIS curriculum for land
and water conservation professionals.

2. SAT - 10:15a - 10:45a
Susan Pipes
Environmental Data Unit Manager
Friends of the Earth
26-28 Underwood Street
N1 7JQ
voice: 0171.490.1555
Fax: 0171.490.0881
'Your Right to Know' -- data access issues in the UK

3. SAT - 11:00a - 11:30a
Rich Walker
American Wildlands
Lance Craighead
American Wildlands/Craighead Environmental Research Institute
Analysing Wildlife Movement Corridors in Montana Using GIS
LUNCH - 12:00n - 1:30p

4. SAT - 11:45 - 12:15
Robert Parker
GIS Technician
The Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan
Putting Headwaters Back Together ...For All:The Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan
Project Summary
                Putting Headwaters Back Together ...For All: The Headwaters Stewardship Plan. Work has begun on this visionary plan for meaningful permanent protection of Headwaters Forest and the workers who depend on forestland for their livelihood.  We expect that the process of evaluation, analysis and prescription will provide not only a positive solution to restoring and managing Headwaters Forest after its acquisition but will also provide a model for conservationists to use in creating local solutions to other local forest issues.
            One hundred and fifty years ago, two million acres of ancient redwood forest blanketed the California coast.  Today, less than three percent of that great forest remains, of which only a fraction is protected from logging.  The surviving unprotected ancient redwoods are located mostly in scattered groves.  Headwaters Forest is the largest such remnant, containing the six largest unprotected groves of ancient redwood forest left on Earth.  Headwaters provides a glimpse at the biodiversity that once enriched the coastal forests of California.  The lowland riparian forests, ancient redwood stands, upland prairies, oak woodlands, and residual old-growth redwood and Douglas fir, as well as the second-growth stands, are home for a large variety of animals, plants and microorganisms.  Many of the species  found in Headwaters Forest are federally and/or state listed as endangered or threatened, and other species are candidates for listing.
            Headwaters Forest was acquired in 1985 in a hostile takeover of owner Pacific Lumber Company by corporate raider Charles Hurwitz and his Texas-based Maxxam corporation.  At the time, Hurwitz also owned United Savings Association of Texas, which failed in 1988.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) have both filed charges against Hurwitz for his actions in the failure of the savings and loan.  The bank’s failure cost US taxpayers over $1.5 billion, resulting in one of the largest S&L bailouts in US history.  Hurwitz may have illegally used these S&L funds to take over Pacific Lumber.  In other words, US taxpayer dollars may have already paid for Headwaters Forest.
            Conservationists have worked tirelessly since Maxxam’s corporate raid to halt the planned logging of the ancient forests of Headwaters by Maxxam.  A series of lawsuits by the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) and the Sierra Club have held off the destruction of this world treasure.  Efforts to bring the situation to the public eye have resulted in strong support for the permanent protection of all 60,000 acres of Headwaters.  The popularity of the issue has also brought about support, including efforts to protect the area through legislation, from members of the California Congressional delegation.  As feelings mounted and international public support grew more vocal to protect the intact forest, the Clinton Administration and California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein stepped in last fall to develop a “deal” which provides a cancelable 10-month moratorium for only 7500 acres of Headwaters Forest.  Grassroots organizing efforts are being undertaken in California and beyond, as well as media outreach and public education about the issue and the opportunity to save the last of this once-dominant ecosystem and its inhabitant wildlife species.

Goals and Objectives
            Design a plan for an ecologically functioning reserve based on principles and accepted theories of conservation biology which also addresses local economic needs and long-term economic sustainability. Support Affiliate groups with data produced in conjunction with this project.
            The plan will evaluate the ecological status of the forest and inhabitant species and prescribe needed treatment to restore impacted watersheds and provide for species recovery such as the Coho Salmon. It aims to protect critically important waterways and wild fish populations. From ecologically based forestry and restoration prescriptions, it will project the economic impacts of protecting the area by maintaining or improving local economic health and well-being.
Design a landscape management scenario/land use plan that will protect all species and their current and future habitat using the concepts of conservation biology. Methodology
                Of particular interest to the conservation GIS community is the development and use of GIS technology in the plan. Working in cooperation with a diverse cross-section of agencies, scientists, and activists the Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan GIS Team has compiled a variety of data for use in project planning and analysis. These include classified Landsat images for vegetation and forestry analysis, hydrologic coverages for stream analysis, and data on species locations and habitat requirements.
            We would like to share our experiences with others interested in this type of GIS application while taking the opportunity to provide information on Headwaters Forest and other Pacific Northwest forest issues. The Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan provides an excellent example of many issues at the heart of the Conservation GIS Alliance: possibilities for overcoming the jobs vs. environment dichotomy, combining science with activism, and setting the stage for further citizen involvement in environmental planning.


12:15 - 2:15 LUNCH

5. SAT - 2:15p - 2:45
Robin Silver
The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity (SWCBD)
Experiences in advocacy/litigation: Pro's and cons of using GIS to support
Endangered Species litigation.

6. SAT - 3:00p - 4:00p
Charles Convis
380 new York Street
Redlands, Ca. 92373
voice: 909.793.2853
Historical origins of GIS in the early biogeographical
and environmental movements.

7. SAT - 4:15p - 5:00p
Macon Cowles
Environmental Law
Owl Creek: The Marbled murrelet v. Pacific lumber case. GIS in the courtroom.

SAT - DINNER - 5:00p - whenever
Sunday, July 6th

1. SUN - 9:30a - 10:00a
Timothy Bechtold
Wild Rockies
Work in Russia UNCONFIRMED

2. SUN - 10:15a - 10:45a
Mike Biltonen, Executive Director
Minnesota Ecosystems Recovery Project
P.O. Box 293
742 Potter Street
Red Wing, MN 55066-0293
voice: 612.385.7512
Fax: 612.385.7512
The Minnesota Ecosystems Recovery Project - (10% chance he may not attend)

3. SUN - 11:00a - 11:30a
(speaker to be announced)
The Center for Environmental law at Pace University
Pace's Virtual Environmental Law Library and other resources for
conservation activists

4. SUN - 11:45a - 12:00n
Roberta L. Pickert
Archbold Biological Station
PO Box 2057
Lake Placid, Fl. 33862
voice: 941.465.2571
Fax: 941.699.1927
The Endangered Florida Scrub-Jay in a Suburban Setting

5. SUN - 12:00n - 12:15p
Leslie K. Backus
Archbold Biological Station
PO Box 2057
Lake Placid, Fl. 33862
voice: 941.465.2571
Fax: 941.699.1927
A method of evaluating the relative isolation of red-cockaded woodpecker clusters. Leslie K. Backus*, Reed Bowman, D. L. Leonard and Allison Mains, Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Florida 33852.
Red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCWs) are cooperative breeders dependent on energetically costly cavities excavated in living pine species.  Expansion of RCWs into suitable habitat without cavities is a rare event.  Therefore, to maintain RCW populations, it is necessary  to conserve existing occupied RCW clusters.  Within group demographic and/or environmental stochasticity often results in the extirpation of the individuals occupying a cluster.   Unoccupied clusters are re-occupied by dispersing RCWs.  However, the probability of re-occupation declines rapidly with time as existing cavities are degraded by other species.  Historically, dispersal to unoccupied clusters from occupied clusters was facilitated by the open and continuous character of the landscape.  Fragmentation and fire suppression has reduced the probability of successful dispersals from occupied to unoccupied clusters, especially if the latter are isolated.  Using data from the Avon Park Air Force Range RCW population, in south-central Florida, we built a model to rank the relative isolation of  "focal" clusters.  Using recorded female dispersal distances we generated a dispersal buffer around each focal cluster.  We then calculated the number of and the distance from each occupied cluster, falling within the buffer, to each focal cluster.  We also ranked the pine corridor between the focal cluster and each occupied cluster as direct, indirect, circuitous or open and incorporated this data into our model.  Results suggest, that on average, focal clusters with the lowest isolation coefficient (greatest probability of emigration) have more occupied clusters within the dispersal radii.  However, the corridor rank between focal and occupied clusters did influence the isolation coefficient.  To ensure the timely  re-occupation of unoccupied clusters managers need to rank clusters according to their isolation and concentrate management on those having the greatest probability of successful emigration

6. SUN - 12:15p - 12:30p
Christine Casado
Archbold Biological Station
PO Box 2057
Lake Placid, Fl. 33862
voice: 941.465.2571
Fax: 941.699.1927
Plant population location, historical habitat range, aggregation and arrangement of occupied patches were examined as predictors of genetic variations for six narrowly-endemic plant species. Several rare alleles were identified and clines in allele frequency were detected. Aggregation indices based on linear distances were calculated and compared to the distribution of rare alleles.  The degree of population aggregation was positively related to genetic variation in one of the six species (Nolina brittoniana). Other spatial analysis consisted of a frequency analysis of point in polygon intersects, used to identify occurring soil types for each species and to identify possible historical habitat. Historical patch size inferred from soil polygons, was positively related to patch size and suitable habitat within 32 KM for one species (Hypericum cumulicola). Creation of coverages identifying extant habitat is in progress and will be used with the allele information in a preserve design model to identify rare plant populations in need of protection.
Principal  Investigator: Dr. Eric Menges
Presenter: Christina M. Casado


LUNCH - 12:30p - 1:30P

7. SUN - 1:30p - 2:00p
To be announced

8. SUN - 2:15p - 3:15p
Michael P. Hamilton, Director
University of California
James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve
PO Box 1775
Idyllwild, Ca. 92549
voice: 909.659.3811
Fax: 909.659.9897
Virtual reserves and Cyberspace Ecosystems: A New Role for Biological
Field Stations in Community-based Biological Resource and Management

9. SUN - 3:15p - 4:00p
Poster Session

10. SUN - 4:00p - 5:30p
Discussion about creating a formalized structure for the
Conservation GIS Alliance.
A note will follow to clarify this and to help people prepare for the

SUN - DINNER - 5:30p - whenever

Monday, July 7th
MON - BREAKFAST - up until 9:30a

1. MON - 9:30a - 10:45a
Keith M. Reynolds
Pacific Northwest Research Center
Corvallis Forestry Science Lab
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
voice: 541.750.7434
Fax: 541.750.7329
A demonstration of the EMDS using the COHO Salmon model and database.

2. MON - 11:00a - 11:30a
Tom Moritz
Academy Librarian
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, Ca. 94118
voice: 415.750.7101
Fax: 415.750.7106
TITLE:  Collating Multidisciplinary Museum Specimen Data Using ARCVIEW: The Modoc County Project
ABSTRACT:  By conservative estimate, the natural history museums of North
America hold over 400 million biological specimens.  These collections
represent the largest raw data set depicting the world's biodiversity.
The Modoc County project sought to test the potential utility of these
data by selecting a relatively simple and manageable geographic region
(Modoc County -- Northeastern California), acquiring a number of available
map layers and then inputting specimen data for the County (derived from a
variety of disciplinary and institutional sources).  The results of this
effort are presented and evaluated with implications for the general utility
of museum specimen data.





















Conference Proceedings (below)