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Monday, April 9 • 11:15am - 11:30am
LAND USE/LAND COVER CHANGE: Stressors, Conditions, and Management Responses: An Environmental Report Card for the Tennessee River Basin

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AUTHORS: Andrew J. Elmore, Heath Kelsey, Dylan Taillie – University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

ABSTRACT: The Tennessee River Basin is home to over 5 million people and some of the most diverse biological communities found anywhere in the United States. Similar to many regions of the United States, the ecological condition of the landscape is impacted by stressors such as development, agricultural runoff, and impoundments. Managing environmental resources in the basin requires synoptic data on where natural resources are and progress towards protecting those resources from the dominate stressors. One way of communicating these challenges, and progress towards stated conservation goals, is through the use of environmental report cards. Environmental report cards have been developed for a wide range of habitats revealing many common themes related to the specificity of the indicators, our ability to scale the indicators to meaningful thresholds, and update the grades at temporal frequency matching the frequency of decision making. Leveraging information gained at stakeholder meetings, we created an environmental report card that synthesized data on the spatial configuration of stressors, ecological condition, and management responses for the entire Tennessee River Basin. A key component was the evaluation of land cover and land protection status within forest core and corridor regions important for maintaining forest connectivity across the basin. Based on an unweighted evaluation of 13 indicators, the Tennessee River Basin received a grade of C. Individual indicator scores ranged from F to A, and varied widely across this diverse basin.

Monday April 9, 2018 11:15am - 11:30am CDT
Grant Park Parlor

Attendees (4)