Two Countries, One Forest
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Staying Connected

Staying Connected

The Staying Connected Initiative partnership (SCI) has worked since 2009 to maintain and restore landscape connectivity across the Northern Appalachian/Acadian region, for the benefit of nature and people. SCI focuses on sustaining critical landscape connections that help safeguard native wildlife and plants from the impacts of habitat fragmentation and climate change and that support human activities and values tied to the region’s forested landscape. SCI partners use a range of strategies including conservation science, land protection, community engagement, land use planning, transportation planning, and policy to achieve these goals.

In  December 2015 2C1Forest and SCI joined together,  aligning their conservation visions and networks to more effectively conserve the natural areas and critical connections that between them in this globally significant transboundary region. SCI is now a program of 2C1Forest, creating opportunities to enhance landscape conservation on both sides of the border. Together 2C1 Forest and SCI have united a range of partners with broad expertise from Canada and the U.S. – including conservation organizations, state and provincial natural resource and transportation departments, federal agencies, and researchers – to pursue our shared vision of conserved and connected landscape for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Linkage Areas: Conserving Connectivity Building Blocks

The SCI Program of 2C1Forest  is focused on connectivity conservation in nine linkage areas: geographically defined places where—if landscape connectivity is lost—bear, moose, bobcat and other wide-ranging mammals will be limited in their ability to move between core habitat areas and across the region. Please see the map below for the location of the linkage areas.

These linkage areas are extremely important to wildlife. Not only do individual animals need to be able to move freely to obtain food, mates, and to meet other life needs, linkages to core habitat areas will allow animals to migrate as their habitats change in response to climate change, and over time these linkages will help maintain genetic diversity within wildlife populations.

Within each linkage area there are smaller areas, sometimes called stepping stones. Located between core areas, stepping stones are small patches of intact habitat that provide resources and refuge for species and provide pathways for wildlife movement.

By maintaining existing links in the landscape and preventing further habitat fragmentation within the linkage areas we work to ensure that wildlife within our region has the ability to move where, when and as far as needed.