Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale

Completed Projects

The Landowner Networking Project: Supporting community-based vernal pool conservation on private land

Vernal pool researchers

Private lands provide many public goods (e.g., habitat for wildlife, water conservation, educational, aesthetic, or recreational value), but perceived value to private landowners may be less clear. Achieving conservation goals on private lands thus requires a broader choice of conservation tools and approaches that address the needs and priorities of all landowners. The Maine Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) was devised to meet this need.

Of Pools and People: Small natural features with large ecosystem functions in urbanizing landscapes

Many landscapes have small natural features that are far more important for maintaining biodiversity or providing ecosystem services than one would expect based on their size. Likewise, many landscapes are increasingly urbanizing as communities grow and their development patterns change. Effectively managing these features in urbanizing landscapes presents interesting challenges and opportunities…

Vernal Pools for Me – WRRI 2016

The Vernal Pools for Me project highlights enhanced the connection between stakeholders and their vernal pools by encouraging understanding of these special, small water resources through a portfolio of outreach materials. Primary school children learned about the diversity of animals that use vernal pools and about conservation through songs and a hybrid coloring book and field guide. Middle school and high-school students benefited from web-based videos. Lay people benefited from easily accessible and engaging web-based outreach material such as social media and blogs.

Using vernal pools to study natural resource management issues

Many Maine communities are facing the same dilemma: how to maintain economic viability without compromising the ecological integrity of natural resources that attract people to Maine. This SSI research team uses local vernal pool conservation as a model to help communities find ways to balance economic development with natural resource conservation on private land…

Improving Planning Processes in Maine Towns to Achieve Environmental, Social and Economic Goals

Working with two Maine towns, the research team will embark on a novel and proactive conservation planning project to engage Maine municipalities. The project plan includes rejuvenation of under-utilized planning tools and development of innovative economic incentives for resource conservation that address both landowner and town financial needs…