Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation

Aquatic Habitat and BLM Ecoregional Assessments

The BLM recognizes that public lands are influenced by complex environmental challenges that transcend public land boundaries. These include increasing wildfires and invasive species; expanding demand for renewable energy development and urban growth; and extended droughts, melting perma-frost, and other climate change-related impacts. The BLM is preparing a series of ecoregional assessments to help land managers better understand and respond to these challenges.

The focus is current ecoregional conservation status and potential for change in a 20-50 year time frame. Ecoregional assessments describe ongoing and projected environmental disturbances from wildfire, invasive species, and climatic conditions and they document areas of high ecological value, including regionally significant habitats and species of concern. In this way, they help identify opportunities for resource conservation and development.

Partners include federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations and contractors. The assessments are being developed within the framework of the Department of the Interior’s climate change science initiative, which includes establishment of Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs).

The BLM will use the results to inform its land use planning and decision-making for an ecoregion’s public lands. The assessments will also help the BLM, working with its partners and stakeholders, to prioritize, coordinate, and implement conservation actions to achieve the greatest long-term benefit.