Conserving Brook Trout in Southern Appalachia: A Case Study in Building Public-Private Partnerships
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As with many of our natural resources, Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, are in need of protection on private lands. Increasing development and poor agricultural practices have removed or degraded much of this species’ habitat in western North Carolina. In order to protect remaining Brook Trout habitat in this region, the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project held the Brook Trout Summit with the purpose of promoting public-private partnerships between private landowners and government conservation agencies. Specifically, this summit introduced farmers and developers to conservation easements and the conservation incentive programs that would allow them to preserve and restore riparian habitat. This research used a survey to assess the Summit’s effectiveness in 1. attracting private landowners, 2. increasing participants’ knowledge of the conservation programs and partners that they can become involved with to conserve Brook Trout habitat, and 3. encouraging the formation of public-private partnerships. Analysis of survey results showed that the Summit was effective in increasing participants’ knowledge and encouraging the formation of partnerships, but was unable to attract sufficient numbers of private landowners. Suggestions for improvement of the summit format are explored and recommendations for future endeavors, including a second Brook Trout Summit, are discussed.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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