1. The Future of the Northern Forests: Climate Change Impacts and Forest Management

    Expanding forest reserves such as those found along river corridors may provide refuge to threatened species. Photo courtesy of Matthew Duveneck.

    Expanding forest reserves such as those found along river corridors may provide refuge to threatened species. Photo courtesy of Matthew Duveneck.

    How will forests change as the climate warms? Is biodiversity an important component for forest management? What options are available for resource managers to assist in management decisions?

    These are some of the questions that Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC grantees from Portland State University set out to answer. Their research has made a substantial contribution to both the science of climate change effects and the management of northern Great Lakes forests.

    Using a forest simulation model to assess climate change and management effects in Minnesota and Michigan, the researchers explored a range of carbon emission scenarios, examining how climate change might affect the relationship between diversity and forest productivity.  At the same time, the researchers examined a variety of management options under potential climate change scenarios.

    Although the high emission climate change scenario largely outweighed management effects, researchers found positive effects to climate-adapted management approaches. For example, expanding forest reserves increased at-risk tree species such as balsam fir while planting climate suitable species increased productivity and diversity under climate change.

    The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently began a new initiative using these research recommendations in portions of northern Minnesota.  Species expected to respond well to a changing climate were planted.

    Mark White from TNC notes that, “Linking insights from simulation models into on-the-ground planning decisions is essential to successful conservation.”

    To learn more about TNC’s climate-informed forestry practices in Minnesota’s northwoods visit: Case Study: The Nature Conservancy: Forestry Adaptation in Minnesota’s Northwoods

    More information on this project may be found in the recently published ESA Ecosphere Journal article.

  2. Celebrating Success! LCC Releases 2013 Year in Review

    Click to download.

    Click to download.

    Partners of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) today released their 2013 Year in Review, a compilation of stories about collective success and progress in promoting effective conservation through collaboration and sound science across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region.

    “Looking back over the past four years, our partnership has grown both in the breadth of our membership, and, in the depth of our collective commitment to tackling 21st century natural resources challenges. Many of the cutting-edge research projects supported through the LCC partnership are already showing both relevance and practical benefits to conservation managers across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region,” said USFWS Assistant Regional Director and LCC chair Dave Scott.

    Federal, state and non-governmental natural resource leaders have been working side-by-side since 2010, as part of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC, to identify research needs and solutions that effectively address large and complex natural resource challenges impacting the region, from aquatic habitat fragmentation to energy development and climate change. Learn how LCC partner agencies and organizations are using a 21st century model for conservation to produce and deliver cutting-edge science, and working to ensure conservation is relevant, valued and an integral part of our society.

    What’s Inside:

    • Learn how we are building communities of science to leverage resources that support conservation and management in urban, coastal, and forested environments, while connecting efforts that enhance aquatic connectivity
    • Learn about the LCC’s role in developing a Midwest Landscape Conservation Communications Network
    • Read about four recently completed/ongoing research efforts supported by LCC partners:
      • For the Birds: Migratory Bird Stopover Sites are Important for Economic and Ecological Diversity in the Great Lakes
      • The Future of the Northern Forests: How Do We Manage Forests for Climate Change?
      • Hook, Line and Sinker: A Landscape Approach to Sport Fish Conservation in the Face of Climate Change Impacts
      • Road Block: Fixing Connections Between the Great Lakes and its Tributaries Doesn’t End with Dams

    For more information about the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC visit

  3. Funding Opportunity to Benefit Natural Resource Conservation in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes

    textFebruary 13, 2014 - The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) announced today a funding opportunity for research proposals that address high priority knowledge gaps associated with natural resource conservation and management in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region.

    The LCC has identified five distinct areas of research this year that will inform effective conservation and management by resource practitioners and decision-makers. Research projects under consideration for 2014 funding must address one or more of the following science needs:

    • Identifying high priority coastal wetland areas for the Great Lakes region
    • Identifying high risk areas for coastal erosion, sediment sources and accretion areas, and best management practices to address sediment transport concerns across the Great Lakes
    • Facilitate integration of climate change information and strategies into State Wildlife Action Plans in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region
    • Sustaining forest habitats and productivity in the context of invasive, non-native insects and disease
    • Designing landscapes to meet natural resources objectives now and into the future

    The LCC is responsible for identifying, prioritizing and supporting research projects that address gaps in scientific knowledge and can inform effective conservation and management across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Broad-scale stressors impacting this landscape include climate change, urban expansion and habitat loss.

    Up to $250,000 may be available to fund projects. The LCC encourages broad participation from groups and individuals concerned with natural and cultural resource issues in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region.  Individuals from federal, state, tribal, local, commercial, non-profit and educational organizations are eligible for funding as investigators or cooperators. Cost share or in-kind match is encouraged but not required.

    Interested applicants should contact LCC Coordinator John Rogner or Science Coordinator Brad Potter prior to submitting an application package. Additional details on the science needs, format and timetable for submitting proposals can be found in the full funding announcement at under funding opportunity number F14AS00086.

    Grant application packages are due no later than 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on March 28, 2014. Grant applications should be submitted through Applicants unable to submit through, may submit their application package via email to LCC staff, or mail via U.S. post.

    Application Materials:

    Official Notice of Funding Availability and Application Instructions available for download at under funding opportunity number F14AS00086.
    Communication Plan Example (pdf)
    Data Management Policy (pdf)
    Conflict and Confidentiality Statement (pdf)

    John Rogner,, 847-381-2253 ext. 12
    Brad Potter,, 517-351-4213

    For more information about the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC, visit


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Photographs of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes can be found on the LCC Flickr page