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J.3-2: Using the NAWMP to guide a state-wide waterfowl habitat management plan in Wisconsin

Presented by Jake Straub - Email: straub.47@gmail.com

The goals of the 2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan target a combination of biological and social objectives that are prioritized regionally through Joint Venture (JV) partnerships. The Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes (UMRGLR) JV developed a decision support tool (DST) to assist in implementing these objectives. The DST is based on spatially explicit model-based maps, each representing a biological or social objective weighted by input from decision makers. The DST depicts regions of relative value to meet objectives and therefore identifies areas for regional managers to target conservation for waterfowl and people. In 1992 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources developed their own state-based conservation plan to achieve waterfowl population and habitat objectives. This WI Plan was based on a spatial hierarchy of priority regions, areas, and townships that were delineated from estimated waterfowl densities and habitat, geo-political boundaries, and expert opinion. Since 1992 managers have been working to implement conservation practices based on this system. However much has changed since this time thus, our objective was to revise the 92 WI Plan, now called the Wisconsin Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Strategy, and provide updated spatially-explicit data layers to assist waterfowl habitat conservation efforts. We developed a suite of spatial layers, representing conservation capital and opportunities, designed to meet objectives specific to Wisconsin. Our maps have allowed WI conservation managers to visualize how conservation practices would be prioritized under various ranks of biological and social values. The WI DST will assist state managers with redistributing priority regions based on eco-physiographic boundaries (watersheds) and quantitative ranking based on the underlying biological and social data of the tool. Our approach demonstrate the value of incorporating spatio-temporal variation of biological and social data for conservation managers to prioritize practices while implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Session: Habitat Management (Friday, August 30, 13:20 to 15:00)