Thursday, December 3, 2009

Conservation Action Planning

CNHP Conservation Planner Lee Grunau recently conducted a 2 day training session for the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas on Conservation Action Planning (CAP). CAP is a process developed by The Nature Conservancy that provides answers to a core set of questions critical for the success of any conservation project, such as:

  • What is the biodiversity of interest and its status?
  • What threats exist and what is their importance?
  • Which stakeholders should be engaged, what underlying causes and opportunities warrant attention?
  • What specific outcomes are we trying to achieve?
  • What actions are we taking to achieve the desired outcomes?
  • How do we know if our actions are working?
  • How can we adapt and learn and share results to achieve impact at broader scales?

A CAP is an iterative and adaptive process that looks at conservation targets at multiple spatial scales in order to be as effective as possible with the knowledge and resources available. Since the process was developed, over 300 CAP plans have been completed in North America, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. CNHP has used the CAP protocol on several of our own projects.

In addition to having a CAP trainer on staff, CNHP has also developed analysis techniques to determine conservation target viability and landscape condition, and to measure levels of conservation effectiveness (see our draft Biodiversity Scorecard for more information). Our BIOTICS database contains thousands of tracked element occurrence data points that are integral to conservation planning efforts throughout Colorado. Need help with conservation planning? Give us a call!

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