Blueprint 1.0

Secure, healthy landscapes are essential to the future of both wildlife and people.  


The Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC) is you - everyone in the region who cares about our diverse natural and cultural resources.  Together we are working to ensure a sustainable future for our 180-million acre region by:

  1. Developing an Integrated Science Agenda that defines Desired Ecological States for 9 major habitat systems. 
  2. Conducting Ecological Assessments to show the current status of those 9 habitat systems.
  3. Designing a Conservation Blueprint - a network of lands and waters that incorporates anticipated future changes and which can be managed, protected, or restored to achieve the goal of sustainability.

The GCPO Conservation Blueprint 1.0 will define a habitat conservation network to be incorporated into a larger network inclusive of the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean.  This larger effort is known as the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy.

The “Cake” Analogy

A simple way of viewing the interrelationship between the 3 elements listed above is this:

The Integrated Science Agenda is the “recipe” that tells us what sustainability means.  It essentially defines what a healthy, sustainable ecosystem would look like: the amount, configuration, and condition of each habitat type.

The Ecological Assessments are the “ingredients” that represent our current knowledge base.  Each ingredient represents one end point that characterizes a healthy habitat, such as the amount of remaining salt marsh, the extent to which forest patches are connected, or the quality of water in a river.  The Ecological Assessments for each system include multiple “ingredients,” which are actually sophisticated analyses that combine multiple datasets to show what we know about the current landscape.

The draft Blueprint is the “cake.”  It shows what we have when we combine all the ingredients.  Just as a baking a cake transforms the ingredients into something new and different, the landscape conservation design process transforms the Ecological Assessment ingredients by applying a series of decision rulesets to answer the following questions:

  1. How much do we have?
  2. How much more do we need?
  3. Where are we currently investing, and where should we invest resources in the future to get more?
  4. What do we need to do there?
  5. How do we incorporate and ensure the needs of species are met?
  6. How should we plan for predicted change across the landscape?

The Conservation Blueprint & the Conservation Community

The Conservation Blueprint is not only a product, but also a process.  

To be effective, the Blueprint must be a transparent, replicable, and defensible approach, bringing the best available science to bear on conservation decisions.  

That’s where you come in.  The Blueprint is being constructed by staff and the Adaptation Science Management Team, with input from the Partnership Advisory Council and leaders from the State Wildlife Action Plans, as well as people like you. 

Blueprint Workshops

A series of Blueprint workshops are being held throughout the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks geography in 2016, to elicit the input, knowledge, and expertise of many additional conservation partners. 

In addition, you can now provide comments via the Conservation Planning Atlas:

(1) Click on the habitat system maps below.    

(2) Sign up if you are not already a member (or sign in if you are).

(3) Open the map and use the "comment" tab on the left hand side to provide your input. 

View this quick tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the process.




Draft Blueprint Maps Available for Comment

Upland Hardwood (Forests)

Upland Hardwood (Woodlands)

Upland Streams

Open Pine


Lowland Streams

Forested Wetlands

Mainstem Big Rivers Draft Blueprint

Tidal Marsh

Beaches and Dunes 

All the spatial datasets used in the landscape conservation design process are contained on the Conservation Planning Atlas Blueprint 1.0 Gallery.