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Community-based Biodiversity Assessment Training

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Community-based Biodiversity Assessment Training

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  1. Community-based Biodiversity Assessment Training Watershed Science and Technical Conference September 15th, 2009

  2. Biodiversity in the Hudson River Valley 85% of NY’s amphibian species 73% of NY’s reptile species 87% of NY’s breeding bird species 92% of NY’s mammal species Source: GAP Analysis of the Hudson River Valley, Cornell, 2001.

  3. PROBLEM:Habitat loss & degradation Source: Environmental Advocates of New York Source: National Weather Service

  4. SOLUTION:Local land-use planners & decision makers • conservation advisory councils • planning boards • land trusts • citizen’s groups • conservation organizations

  5. Goals of the Biodiversity Assessment Training • Conservation of • Hudson Valley ecosystems • Identification of important biodiversity resources • Better site plan review • Townwide and inter-municipal planning • Proactive conservation-oriented outreach

  6. Biodiversity Assessment Methods Step A Map analysis & information gathering Step B Field assessment Step C Conservation planning & action

  7. Step A: Information Gathering • New York Natural Heritage Program • Hudson River Estuary Program’s Biodiversity Outreach Program • existing reports, field notes, other published and unpublished documents

  8. Step A: Map Analysis • USGS topographic map(s) • county soil survey • NYS bedrock geology map • NYS Freshwater Wetlands and National Wetlands Inventory maps • stereoscopic aerial photos • orthophotos

  9. Field assessment

  10. Workshops about land use planning

  11. Final products Habitat report Habitat map Community members trained in biodiversity assessment

  12. 10-month training

  13. 3-day short course

  14. What groups have accomplished: • Incorporate into site plan reviews • Habitat Assessment Guidelines

  15. What groups have accomplished: • Incorporate into site plan reviews • Habitat Assessment Guidelines • Habitat maps for planning board

  16. What groups have accomplished: • Incorporate into site plan reviews • Habitat Assessment Guidelines • Habitat maps for planning board • Map new areas

  17. What groups have accomplished: • Incorporate into site plan reviews • Habitat Assessment Guidelines • Habitat maps for planning board • Map new areas • New conservation ordinances • Town of Amenia • Town of Pleasant Valley • Town of Putnam Valley • Town of Hyde Park • Town of Poughkeepsie

  18. What groups have accomplished: • Incorporate into site plan reviews • Habitat Assessment Guidelines • Habitat maps for planning board • Map new areas • New conservation ordinances • Educational outreach

  19. What groups have accomplished: • Incorporate into site plan reviews • Habitat Assessment Guidelines • Habitat maps for planning board • Map new areas • New conservation ordinances • Educational outreach • Public lecture series • Documents for land holders

  20. New directions for groups: • Habitat mapping of watersheds • Incorporate into project design phase of new developments • Carbon footprints

  21. Summary • Decisions with large biodiversity impacts are made every day by local boards • Local boards have little biological information to use in their environmental reviews or planning • Our program provides them with biodiversity information, and the skills and techniques to create that information for other areas of their community

  22. Andrew Meyer Hudsonia’s Biodiversity Educator ameyer@bard.edu, 845-758-0600 www.hudsonia.org/education Hudsonia