Ecology and Management
of Landscapes

Management of Terrestrial and Wetland Ecosystems includes programs in:

              • Forest Stewardship and Management
              • Agroforestry
              • Protected Lands Management and Planning
              • Wetland Ecosystem Management
              • Biological Control of Non-Indigenous Plants.

Forest Stewardship and Management - P. Smallidge, G. Goff, and others.
This program addresses the sustainable management, production, and stewardship of private, nonindustrial rural forestlands and sugar bushes. These lands account for 85% of forestland in New York and approximately half of land area in the state. With half of the mature timber and essentially all sugar bushes located on private lands, these properties are pivotal for economic production and for the consequences of mismanagement. The primary audiences are property owners, and secondary audiences are foresters, loggers, and youth. Program development and delivery for woodlot owners and maple producers have involved several strategies, including multi-county workshops, satellite broadcasts, a peer-counseling program, field tours and demonstration areas, applied research, web pages, and numerous written materials. As a result of these efforts, several thousand owners have been directly and indirectly reached, and typically 40 to 60% of active participants, such as workshop attendees, have indicated their intention to modify behaviors to use more sustainable and productive approaches.

Agroforestry - L. Buck, and faculty from other departments
Over the past five years, this highly interdisciplinary program has become an international and national leader in the social sciences and policy aspects of agroforestry. The faculty in this program has years of international experience in community agroforestry programs, which they have applied to rural communities in the Northeast. The long-term goal of the Agroforestry Program is to improve the conservation and productivity of forest and farm resources through integrating income generation opportunities for landowners from trees, shrubs, and woodland secondary products with environmental protection goals.

Protected Lands Planning and Management - L. Buck, and others.
This program is a new effort that seeks to integrate domestic and international models for natural area protection. The long-term goal of this program is to reduce uncertainty and conflict associated with integrating protected areas into regional landscapes. Specific objectives over the next five years include:

  • Educate people directly involved in land-management decisions about the full range of management alternatives available (including appropriate management tools) and about the related consequences of their land-management decisions on the ecological integrity and environmental quality of the local and regional landscape.
  • Enhance understanding among local planning/zoning boards and decision makers of how to integrate ecological, economic, and social concerns in land-use planning decisions.
  • Help planners and local government officials better manage wildlife and conserve biodiversity in developing areas. Develop an outreach program in the application of GAP analysis for the conservation of biodiversity in NYS.
  • Work with public and private conservation interests in adopting a more integrated view of the landscape, utilizing concepts like watershed, conservation reserves, greenways, habitat corridors, and heritage areas.
  • Introduce organizational leaders to "adaptive collaborative management" as a unifying concept, and for generating improved organizational and information support for protected area management.

Wetland Ecosystem Management - R. Schneider, and other faculty.
This program addresses issues related to the land-water interface, for example, wetlands, streamsides, and lake and pond shorelines. These habitats currently play a critical role in the management of wildlife, water quality, flooding, and erosion across the landscape. A main focus has been on the development of Stand By Your Stream TM, an outreach program for streamside protection. The first step in program development has been to increase awareness of the importance of healthy streamsides in reducing sediment erosion, filtering out contaminants from groundwater moving from uplands into streams, and controlling floods. The second step is to provide training on good management practices and to get people to implement a change in their actions. Other foci in the Wetlands Ecosystem Management Program include aquatic plant management and use of wetlands for water quality management. Goals include promoting an understanding of the importance of natural and constructed wetlands for improving water quality across the landscape; informing key audiences of the value of wetlands for water quality and provision of wildlife habitat; and providing information, a management strategy, and resources needed for better management of shoreline aquatic vegetation in order to meet both lakeowner interests and lake ecological protection.

Biological Control of Non-Indigenous Plants - Bernd Blossey and others.
Invasive species are the second largest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. The increasing concerns over negative effects of invasive plant species has dramatically increased the demand for safe and successful management (not only biocontrol). The Biological Control of Non-Indigenous Plant Species Program, established by CALS in 1995, has 4 main objectives: (1) Document the impact of invasive plants on native organisms; (2) Develop biological control programs using host specific natural enemies (mostly insects) from the native range of an invasive plant; (3) monitor the effectiveness and long-term impact of the release of biocontrol organisms on native plant and animal communities; and (4) investigate factors determining the success of invasive species. Current projects target invasive plant species in wetlands (purple loosestrife,Lythrum salicaria; and common reed, Phragmites australis), riparian areas (Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica), and forests (garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata)

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