The Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC) is part of a national network of 22 LCCs that cover the entire U.S. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are applied conservation science partnerships that provide scientific and technical support for conservation and promote collaboration in achieving shared conservation goals and sustainable natural resource management at landscape scales.
The Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks is a 180-million-acre region that includes all of Arkansas and Mississippi and parts of 10 additional states spanning 5 major subgeographies: East Gulf Coastal Plain, West Gulf Coastal Plain, Interior Highlands, Mississippi Alluvial Valley, and the Gulf Coast.
Conservation Science Priorities
The GCPO LCC exists to define, design, and deliver landscapes capable of sustaining natural and cultural resources at desired levels now and into the future. To achieve this mission, the Partnership is currently identifying knowledge gaps that hinder conservation of large functioning ecosystems and developing the information most needed to improve natural and cultural resource management. In particular, the LCC is focused on assessing how climate, development, and other drivers make our resources more vulnerable in the context of alternative future scenarios so we can develop proactive management recommendations, tools and adaptation strategies in response (see Projects page).
In 2013, the GCPO LCC partnered with resource agencies from the states of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to initiate an Ozark Highlands conservation design process, which will serve as the model for conservation design throughout the GCPO region in 2015 and beyond. Concurrent with this process, in 2014 we began developing an Ecological Assessment of the amount, condition, and configuration of key habitats within the GCPO. These data will inform conservation design and have already identified additional key knowledge gaps necessary for effective conservation and planning. We share data sets crucial to these efforts via a common Conservation Planning Atlas.
The GCPO LCC Role
In general, the GCPO LCC operates by serving five functional roles:
- Offer partners a landscape perspective for their conservation activities
- Develop explicit linkages across existing conservation partnerships that span multiple taxa and habitats
- Help incorporate future change into conservation planning (e.g., urbanization, sea-level rise)
- Pull these pieces together to help conservation partners define and design sustainable landscapes
- Monitor effectiveness of conservation programs towards achievement of sustainable
Who is Participating
Our organization includes representatives from federal and state wildlife conservation and land management agencies, as well as universities, conservation science agencies and nonprofits promoting resource conservation and wise decisions in land and water management. Membership is open to all, and we encourage you to join.