Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)

In 2010, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) were established by the Secretary of the Interior to provide shared science to ensure sustainability of America’s land, water, wildlife and cultural resources.  The LCCs were formed to help the Interior bureaus and agencies work together with other federal, state, tribal and local governments, and private landowner partners, to develop landscape-level strategies for understanding and responding to climate change impacts and other ecological stressors.

Today, LCCs serve as applied conservation science partnerships with two main functions. The first is to provide the science and technical expertise needed to support conservation planning at landscape scales – beyond the reach or resources of any one organization. Through the efforts of in-house staff and science-oriented partners, LCCs are generating the tools, methods, and data that managers need to design and deliver conservation using the Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) approach. The second function of LCCs is to promote collaboration among their members in defining shared conservation goals. With these goals in mind, partners can identify where and how they will take action, within their own authorities and organizational priorities, to best contribute to the larger conservation effort. There are 22 individual LCCs across the country.

What are the differences between LCCs and JVs?

Joint Ventures (JVs) and LCCs are distinct and complementary regional partnerships. Here’s how the two differ:

  1. JVs originated 25 years ago as a result of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan at the request of partners to work together across jurisdictional boundaries. JVs have evolved from waterfowl to all-bird conservation and have catalyzed habitat conservation at the landscape scale through diverse partnerships. LCCs are newer (established in 2010) and are advancing conservation planning at landscape scales. 
  2. The geographic boundaries are different (click here to understand more about JV and LCC boundaries). All or sizeable portions of four LCCs lie within the IWJV boundary: Great Northern LCC, Great Basin LCC, Southern Rockies LCC, and Desert LCC.

These differences provide important opportunities to collaborate and partner in strategic habitat conservation.

  • Both JVs and LCCs are self-directed partnerships, governed by a mix of public and private partners. JVs are directed by Management Boards; LCCs are directed by Steering Committees.
  • While both LCCs and JVs prioritize applied conservation science using strategic habitat conservation, the scope and nature of JV and LCC science endeavors differ. The JVs concentrate on biological planning and conservation design to support bird populations at desired levels. Specifically, JVs apply SHC through stepping down continental bird population objectives to the JV scale, landscape characterization and assessment, and development of species-habitat relationships models – all of which leads to defensible habitat objectives and/or spatially explicit decision-support tools. LCCs utilize SHC to support a wide array of landscape planning efforts and to develop tools that enable resource managers to effectively address landscape-level stressors.  LCCs are also increasingly investing in human dimensions/social science as a means of advancing conservation. 
  • JVs are responsible for conserving habitats that are capable of sustaining bird populations at desired levels. As such, JVs have habitat delivery programs and partnerships that are using strategic habitat conservation.

The IWJV is working closely with the following three LCCs:

Great Northern LCC (GNLCC)

The IWJV was intimately involved in the development of the GNLCC, serving as part of the team that developed the initial GNLCC Implementation Plan.  As a member of the Science Advisory Team, IWJV staff contributed greatly to the development of the original project funding evaluation criteria.  The IWJV also holds a seat on the GNLCC Steering Committee. Through this engagement and partnership, we have ensured that broad scale conservation priorities (e.g., wetland/aquatic and sagebrush landscapes) are aligned between the GNLCC and IWJV, which sets the groundwork for continued and value-added collaboration into the future.

Additionally, the IWJV has devoted staff time to the administration of GNLCC-funded grants that relate to IWJV science needs.  Projects recommended by the IWJV partnership and funded by the GNLCC will serve to fill critical information gaps for bird populations and their habitats and allow us to build effective conservation strategies for both the GNLCC and IWJV.

Read about two projects here:

-Collaborative Monitoring of Landbirds to Inform Landscape-level Management

-National Wetlands Inventory, Idaho

We have also helped the GNLCC build stronger linkages with Canadian conservation partners through the Canadian Intermountain Joint Venture (CIJV). This resulted in the GNLCC supporting a transboundary JV project submitted by the CIJV entitled, Tracking Wetland Changes over Time at Multiple Scales in Bird Conservation Regions 9 and 10.

Great Basin LCC (GBLCC)

The IWJV continues to maintain positive and open communications with the GBLCC to keep apprised of shared priorities and current activities.  GBLCC staff has attended IWJV Management Board meetings to communicate with the bird conservation community about their vision and goals.  In summer 2012, IWJV staff arranged a productive meeting with the two partnerships’ staff and Management Board/Steering Committee members. This meeting resulted in increased understanding of shared sagebrush habitat conservation priorities. There are additional opportunities for future collaboration on wetlands conservation science.

Southern Rockies LCC (SRLCC)

The IWJV has a seat on the SRLCC Steering Committee and Science Team.  Additionally, the IWJV contributed to the development and refinement of the SRLCC’s science priorities, ensuring that they align with IWJV’s priorities. This alignment sets the foundation for future collaboration.  It has also led to a commitment by the SRLCC to fill important information gaps required for landscape scale conservation planning needed by the IWJV. 

Additional information: