Class Assignments and Agenda for Week 11, 2008 Nov 7


Class meets from 9:10 - 11:55A in 3214 Jordan Hall on the NCSU Campus. You are free to bring food and drink to this classroom.


If anyone is interested, here is a scorecard developed by the federal government. It is basically a scorecard that assesses their programs. Here's a link to the agriculture rating: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/pma/agriculture.pdf

Objectives

  • Evaluate each of three properties - will need info in advance (ie, by Wednesday) - each team to give 10min presentation of key points, followed by discussion - total 30min/team
  • How do we integrate report card and indicators ideas?
  • Discuss what we've learned overall and how we will present that in final session



Things to do before our meeting - please read all items, regardless of team

Item 1: Readings Have read before class - sooner is better so that you start integrating these things into your thinking.
  • Center for Whole Communities. 2007. Whole Measures: Transforming our Vision of Success. Center for Whole Communities, Fayston, VT. ( Readings file CWC2007_WholeMeasures_6.pdf )
    • Read closely the introductory material and evaluate how it fits what we heard from our panelists .
    • At what scale does this apply to TLC?
    • How might it be implemented?
    • What kind of information is needed to give a grade for each of the practices?

  • Stem, C, R. Margoluis, N. Salafsky, & M. Brown. 2005. Monitoring and evaluation in conservation: A review of trends and approaches. Conservation Biology 19(2): 295-309. (Readings Stem-etal2005_MonitoringEvaluationReview.pdf )
    • Good review. Winds up at CMP approach.




Item 2: Property Briefs Due noon Wed 5 Nov - all to review before class
  • Teams for Berryhill, Kuenzler, Little River to post diagrams and indicator summaries to the greatest extent possible by noon Wed 5 Nov. Please link documents to the top of your respective property wiki pages.
  • All to review these summaries before class so that we can evaluate.



Agenda for class session

9.10 Preliminaries (Hess)
- Note taker = Louise
- Time keeper = George

9.15 Little River

9.45 Kuenzler

10.15 Berryhill

10.45 Break

10.55 Integration and planning for final seminar
- How do all of these ideas fit together?
- Where does the Whole Communities approach fit into our thinking?
- How should our final seminar flow? What are the key objectives? What do we want in the way of audience participation? Who should be there?

11.30 Individual team planning and work

11.55 Adjourn




NOTES

November 7, 2008
Class Notes

Class presentations of projects
GH – keep in mind how to present to TLC in December – everyone brainstorm

I. Little River presentation
- Is aquatic habitat an indicator or a target? Jeff says there is also an historical element to the property that is a target. Team did not see it on site and thought of it as a low priority
Class disscussion
Key attributes discussion – a biological or ecological condition or process that if it is altered will change the status of your target. In terms of the Little River property, stream buffers are a key ecological attribute as well as water flow. Chemical composition is a measure of the status of the target, and not key attributes. There is some directive on how to define a key attribute in the CMP, but it can be confusing (compatible land use), but it always goes back to what changes your conservation target. Sometimes attribute are confused with threat indicators. Status indicators don’t tell you why a status has changed. An indicator, in the most desirable sense, convey what is causing the change, but don’t have to.
Questions to the LR presentation
- Are the indicators feasible? – Group responded this is a theoretical model that TLC may be able to measure as demonstrated in the future.
- Is there another way to measure the effectiveness of TLC’s management?
- Jeff: the Little River has intact stream buffers, so what is going on in property is in accordance with good management, but the river may still measure poorly because of factors beyond TLC’s influence. Can you measure water quality of streams on property flowing into the river (tributaries). Measure the ability of the buffer to contribute to water quality by testing it on TLC property and
- This feeds into the regional measurements by measuring the lack of impervious surfaces, the amount of stream buffers, the quality of habitat and the lack of destruction. This property had a high ranking from the Upper Neuse Clean Water Model developed by TPL.
- Water quality is hard to measure chemically (according to hydrologists) but macro-invertebrates are a better indicator

II. Kuenzler Property (154 acres)
- Vision is a quiet habitat preserve serving as an example of a piedmont regional habitat. Because there were so many habitats, the team targeted the habitats and nested the wildlife within the habitat targets.
- Viability assessment – looked at compatible surrounding land uses, working on indicators, looked at the size of property to see how much diversity it can support – how do focal species use the property? Team is looking at an adequate description of habitats using Schafale and Weakley (1990 habitat community descriptions). Team also looking at vegetative structure and looking for adequate indicators there. There is also a natural disaster component looking at implications there.
- Kate analyzed indicators and as an indicator for stream quality, recommended a monitoring activity sheet from Fairfax County that is commonly used by volunteers. The monitoring sheet is a consistent and user-friendly model that is applicable to TLC program capabilities.
Class critique
Jeff mentioned that the condition of the property will change and there is a mitigation plan for the WR***. The targets are very specific and Jeff wonders if they could be lumped. Team felt that nesting the targets would be lost in the Miradi diagram. TLC staff collecting baselines are looking at community types. Question to Jessie – are you looking at a community type or a specific element? – Jessie looks for composition types when collecting baseline data.
- Jeff mentioned the Wildlife Action Plan as an example for looking at habitat.
- Jessie believes that looking at quality is equally important when looking at community type. How does this affect management decisions? Sometimes similar communities are very different in terms of quality. Mary contributes that the Schafle and Weakly have a pristine and perfect example but it is never perfect in the field and it is dependant on the way the variations are going.
- Debbie mentions that maybe a good indicator is forest healthy (root exposure, die-back) perhaps a checklist could be beneficial.
- Emily asked how you build a vision. Is it what the landowner wants or TLC’s vision? Jeff replies it’s dependent on the landowner.
- George – are the targets actually examples? A natural succession is the vernal pools filling in, so can it be a target? Debbie asks is it a species as a target.
III. Berryhill
Berryhill represents the importance of context. TLC originally protected this property for a greenway proposed 20 years ago. Groups recommendations is for this property is for TLC to partner with a local conservation to transfer the property.

George - lets talk about key ecological attributes. For Berryhill the target is rhododendron. The rhodo needs north facing, steep bluffs, canopy cover, and moisture. The north facing bluff will not go away so, no need to measure. For soil there is a threat of erosion and if this continues there will not be rhododendron. If the canopy opens up there is a threat to the rhodo. Canopy % is an indicator. Current status of rhodo is pretty good, but soil is being eroded. Canopy cover is stable (except in the case of a hurricane) or a greenway is built. For TFR the size is too small for a good prairie and natural occurrences. Land use is compatible now, but maybe not in the future. In the Stem paper, on page 301 there is an excellent table that looks at landscape context, condition, size, and integrity. Context keeps coming up for every property that the class looks at. How do you build adequate context? What are the neighboring land uses, what are the surrounding threats, what are the implications of the ecological boundary of influence? Sometimes context is often overlooked in looking at numerical based scorecards.
Emily – for Berryhill, TLC owns this land. Should targets also include the TLC public benefits? Debbie agrees that there needs to be a scorecard. Emily like the idea of a scorecard based on TLC values and public benefits. How does Berryhill fit into the objectives of TLC – water quality (yes), ecological (yes), public access (yes), working lands (no) – so how is the status now – ok but what does the future look like taking in consideration of trends. Can we put in a ranking to see how much effort TLC would need to put forth in order to meet the goals?
Mary – how does TLC deal with public access and endangered/delicate conservation targets? Jeff- don’t let people know, and by using the tier system (1,2, and 3) and by asking the question, if you turn over the property to an organization can they protect these elements.
George – how does Whole Communities fit into the big picture? This is a dramatic shift in the way the conservation community thinks in terms of impacting social dynamics and how people live. There are some aspects that TLC is involved in with this direction. Does the public benefits TLC serve fit into the Whole Communities framework?
Kathryn – this may connect the conservation targets to the public benefits targets.


I.V Next steps:
Emily – what is our goal? – How do we choose lands we conserve? What are recommendations for management for lands they already have? How do we measure success on a property scale? What are some organizational and strategic measures of success? What is the real focus because one tool will not serve all these focuses?
Deb – the whole class is meant to measure organizational success.
Emily – our output is tools, what are tools we can recommend to TLC?
Deb – were assessing properties and whether they should have been adopted in the first place and scorecards.
Louise – is measuring conservation success a pass/fail issue or looking at what is the appropriate strategy to meet their goals?
Jessie – what would be helpful is how can management plans be measured in terms of success. There are no indicators for success associated with management plans, and if we apply the indicators to management plans we can measure success in meeting the goals of the conservation targets.
Kathryn – what do we turn out the in terms of the information from our projects and our readings?
Steve – suggests a suite of indicator measurements depending on the property and target.
Jessie - important to tell them about the process and use our properties as case studies that can be applied to other properties
Emily – a skeleton property with a list of targets and indicators
Debbie – would want all the tools – Miradi, scorecard, regional guide, and indicators lists. Two aspects – data collection and what do you do when you have it? A binder would be a guide for data collection and making good decisions and what to do with all that data.
George – we could recommend that they develop an indicator list for habitat types.

Consensus of scorecard that is adapted to TLC. TLC has a checklist currently but does not supply value. Can a scorecard be used consistently.



ACTION ITEMS