North Atlantic LCC Coordinator Andrew Milliken says farewell
To my partners and friends in the North Atlantic LCC community:
As I prepare to transition from North Atlantic LCC Coordinator to a new position in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Project Leader for the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office and Western New England Complex, I wanted to thank you for your contributions and support and reflect on what we have accomplished together.
Six years ago (time flies!), there was no North Atlantic LCC, only the idea that a network of landscape conservation partnerships across the U.S. and beyond was increasingly important in the face of major threats, change and uncertainty.
What emerged out of that idea in the northeast region is a partnership that we can all be proud of that is making a real difference conserving landscapes in the Northeast through:
- A talented and dedicated LCC staff working to support and deliver landscape-scale science across the region
- A diverse and engaged 33-member Steering Committee of partners representing state and federal conservation agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations and universities
- More than 80 partners involved in terrestrial/wetland, aquatic and coastal/marine technical teams guiding conservation science along with many more contributing to project oversight teams
- A Northeast conservation framework that links together partner work in assessment, design, delivery, monitoring/evaluation and research and a strategic plan to guide the LCC based on that framework
- Nearly 40 completed and ongoing projects addressing priority landscape conservation science and science delivery needs, including foundational data, assessments and conservation design being used by partners across the region to guide conservation decisions
- Our Conservation Planning Atlas now with more than 250 regionally consistent spatial data sets providing a foundation for conservation planning and design that is unparalleled in the country
- Collaborative, science-driven conservation designs for the Connecticut River watershed and a just completed first iteration conservation design (Regional Conservation Opportunity Areas) for the entire region and watersheds within the region - setting the stage for our vision of an ecologically connected network of conservation areas that are likely to be resilient to climate change
- Delivery of science through our LCC network to Fish and Wildlife Service Programs, other federal agencies, states, NGOs, foundations, land trusts, and towns who are now using this information to guide conservation planning and actions
- A regional conservation synthesis that provides information to link together the 14 State Wildlife Action Plans in the region
- A lead role in the science of coastal resiliency in response to Hurricane Sandy helping to understand what restoration, management and protection actions are most likely to be effective in the face of sea level rise and storms throughout the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
- Establishment of the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative to link the many partners working on restoring aquatic connectivity in the region with each other and with partners focused on maintaining the resiliency of road stream crossings
And much more…
I am incredibly grateful to all of you for the opportunity to have been with you on our journey creating the North Atlantic LCC and making it into what it is today. It has been an adventure, and I have been privileged to work with and learn from all of you and of course the wonderful staff of the North Atlantic LCC. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and confident that the LCC is in a strong position going forward. I look forward to continue being part of the LCC partnership as I shift to working with partners on the conservation and restoration of fish, wildlife and their habitats throughout Vermont, Lake Champlain, the Champlain Basin in Vermont, New York and Quebec, the Adirondack Mountains and Hudson River valley.
Thank you all for your friendship and for all that you do for conservation.