Spring Management Board Meeting

Focal Landscapes and Integrating Findings of National Bird Plans into Future Conservation Efforts

The AMJV Management Board met on May 11-12 in Blacksburg, Virginia and held discussions ranging from identifying focal landscapes to incorporating findings of national bird plans and reports into future AMJV coordination efforts and on-the-ground conservation. The meeting, which was attended by about 25 resource managers representing federal, state, and non-governmental conservation organizations throughout the Appalachians, also included a field trip to view shelterwood harvests and habitat management activities at Jefferson National Forest. Major highlights and action items included:

  • Focal Landscapes: Staff proposed using a focal landscapes approach to achieve a dynamic forest landscape for bird conservation in the Appalachians.  This approach identifies, with partner input, key areas within the AMJV geography where the partnership can concentrate resources to successfully achieve dynamic forest landscapes at a local scale and then expand those efforts throughout the region. The AMJV Board voted in favor of this approach, but requested staff work closely with the Board and the broader partnership to further develop this concept and methodology. Further refinement on the focal landscapes approach will take into account partner and stakeholder input, information on the importance of focal area for priority bird species, analysis of habitat conditions, synergies of existing partner efforts, and risk/chance of success as well as barriers to conservation.
  • Partners in Flight Revised Landbird Plan: In 2004, Partners in Flight (PIF) produced the North American Landbird Conservation Plan, providing a continental synthesis of the priorities and tasks to guide landbird conservation to protect remaining populations and reverse long-term population declines. An updated and revised plan will be released in the summer of 2016. The Board agreed that once the PIF Plan is released, AMJV staff will organize webinars that introduce the Plan’s findings and recommendations to the Technical Committee and Board Members. The webinars will tee up discussions for the upcoming Technical Committee Meeting on how these findings fit into the AMJV Operational Plan, what adjustments need to be made to Operational Plan and AMJV Priority Species List, and how these findings could be integrated with the dynamic focal landscape proposal and other AMJV activities to achieve sustainable bird populations.
  • RCPP Cerulean Warbler Project: AMJV Board Members suggest along with continued outreach to private landowners in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, staff should reach out to Land Trusts that hold considerable acreage. And in addition to monitoring population response from habitat management, this project should think about evaluating changes in attitudes and incorporating social dimensions’ aspects into the work.