Strategic Conservation Planning in Maine’s Bagaduce River Watershed
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Maine’s Bagaduce River watershed is considered an area of statewide ecological significance. It provides important breeding, foraging, and migratory habitat for a number of species and features thousands of acres of wetlands. Two active land trusts in Maine—the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust—are partnering to protect land in this biodiverse region and sought to develop a new and more strategic conservation plan for the watershed. Since funds and resources for conservation are typically limited, it is important to go through a strategic planning process to identify land parcels which offer the highest conservation benefit. Strategic conservation planning is critical because it helps guide the best use of funds and can identify key landowners for outreach efforts. This prioritization process requires the development of a decision framework to formalize and guide decision making. Combining this framework, in the form of a written plan, with geospatial analyses is useful since it reveals the distribution of conservation features across the landscape that are of highest concern to the land trust. For this master’s project, a strategic conservation plan was created to guide conservation efforts in the Bagaduce River watershed. The ecological component of the plan is presented for the scope of this project. First a decision framework was established in the form of an objectives hierarchy. For each objective, a measurable indicator was determined to provide a concrete means of measuring conservation progress. Each of these indicators was analyzed geospatially both separately and with other indicators in order to identify areas of highest ecological value in the watershed. Moving forward, this plan is meant to serve as an additional decision support tool for MCHT and BHHT when selecting and evaluating potential land projects in the region.
CitationSedgwick, Carolyn (2014). Strategic Conservation Planning in Maine’s Bagaduce River Watershed. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8583.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment