by Hilary Morris, User Support and Communications for the Southeast and South Atlantic Blueprints

This fall’s SEAFWA annual conference will be held from October 27-30th in Hilton Head, SC. This year, the conference will include three special symposia with connections to SECAS. If you’re thinking of attending, consider marking your calendar!

The SECAS 10% Goal: How Do We Get There?

Hosted by:

  • Mallory Martin (SECAS Coordinator)
  • Todd Ewing (NC Wildlife Resources Commission)
  • Anna Smith (South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources)
  • Jessica Graham (Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership Coordinator)

Last fall, the SEAFWA Directors approved an overarching goal for SECAS: a 10% or greater improvement in the health, function, and connectivity of Southeastern ecosystems by 2060. This long-term goal also includes shorter-term metrics for different ecosystems across the Southeast. This symposium will discuss progress so far in tracking the goal, and what conservation actions may be needed to meet it. We will start by providing background on the SECAS initiative and sharing results on tracking progress toward the overarching goal. We will then explore challenges and opportunities for meeting the goal in two presentations, with one focused on terrestrial ecosystems and another focused on aquatic ecosystems. Next, we will highlight examples of how the Southeast Conservation Blueprint has been used to contribute to meeting the goal in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and showcase the latest updates to the Blueprint. Finally, we will consolidate the insights of the presenters and conclude with a group discussion of what’s working well, what isn’t, and next steps needed to achieve the SECAS 10% goal.

Responding to SEAFWA’s Wildlife Management Needs at the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center

Hosted by:

  • Nils Peterson (NC State University)
  • Mallory Martin & Louise Vaughn (Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy)
  • Ryan Boyles (Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center)
  • Bruce Stein (National Wildlife Federation)

This half-day session focuses on how Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE-CASC) can respond to SEAFWA’s wildlife management needs, particularly needs linked to rapid urbanization, landscape fragmentation and inundation, and adapting to changing climates. The proposed session will include six talks (15 minutes with 5 minutes of questions) followed by a 1-hour facilitated discussion. Several of these presentations link directly to SECAS. Anna Smith (SC DNR) will describe a Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need project, which is a collaborative initiative to develop a targeted list of SGCN species for the SEAFWA geography that will encourage cross-jurisdictional conservation action for priority species and contribute to the SECAS vision. Louise Vaughn (SECAS) will describe the SECAS initiative and describe cases where states used the Southeast Conservation to help implement conservation actions in response to climate change. Adam Terando (SE-CASC) will present results from the latest modeling work in support of SECAS, and how it can inform risk management in prescribed fire programs. Lydia Olander (Duke) will describe ecosystem service mapping that has been conducted for 10 states within the CASC region, opportunities to include all states in future mapping, and highlight potential uses of this data (including applications to the Southeast Blueprint).

The State of Conservation Social Sciences in the Southeast: Highlighting a Growing Field

Hosted by:

  • Nia Morales (FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)
  • Betsey York (OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation)
  • Wylie Carr (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Ashley Gramza (AR Game & Fish Commission)
  • Marianne Hudson (AL Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources)
  • Ken Wallen (University of AR at Monticello)

Natural resources agencies and conservation organizations have made concerted efforts over the past decade to increase the visibility of and capacity for social science. Several state and federal agencies, as well as private conservation organizations, have hired research social scientists or human dimensions (HD) specialists who develop research and programmatic initiative to address the complex relationship between stakeholders and natural resources. This session will highlight those efforts and the growth of the field by focusing on HD initiatives implemented across the Southeast region. This session will feature a panel discussion and presentations to share social science tools and emphasize how to apply social science to improve agency-stakeholder relations and natural resource management decision-making. Wylie Carr with the U.S. FWS will highlight intersections between SECAS and regional social science approaches to better understand how people connect to the natural world.