New Tools Inform and Assist Conservation Efforts in the Appalachians
Resource managers, scientists, industries, and the public throughout the Appalachian Mountains have some new online tools to help them understand the sustainability, and vulnerabilities, of the region’s natural assets including forest products, water, food, nature-based tourism, and many other benefits provided by ecosystems. Available through the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s (LCC) Web Planning Portal, Ecosystem Benefits and Risks provides synthesized information from regional inventories and assessments. The companion Guide to Ecosystem Services features more detailed descriptions and map examples of resource use and changing landscapes, and links users to relevant online data and tools. Eastern Threat Center ecologist Lars Pomara is collaborating with the Appalachian LCC and the University of North Carolina Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center to develop these online resources, which are designed to encourage protection of and investments in ecosystem services that support populations in Appalachia and beyond.