The Center for Large Landscape Conservation Receives 2024 Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award

Img 20240403 211807 CThe Center for Large Landscape Conservations is proud to be the recipient of the North American Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE-NA) 2024 Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award. This honor recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of applied landscape ecology.

Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary science broadly concerned with the study, management, planning and design of landscapes. In the face of significant transformation of natural landscapes by human communities and climate change, its importance is only growing. 

The award was accepted on behalf of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation by U.S. Program Director Zachary Wurtzebach on April 4, 2024, at the IALE-NA annual meeting in Oklahoma City. 

In a press release announcing the award, IALE-NA said: “The Center of Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) has been at leading edge of applying landscape ecology principles and practice towards the conservation of large landscapes in the USA, across North America, and globally… CLLC’s work has been fundamental to the development and maintenance of infrastructure needed for the connectivity of landscapes to facilitate conservation actions that quickly scale for maximum conservation effect.” 

The North American Regional Chapter of IALE is a professional and scientific organization dedicated to the science and practice of landscape ecology throughout North America. It is the largest of the more than two dozen national and regional chapters under their parent organization, the International Association for Landscape Ecology.   

“We believe that landscapes and seascapes are the operational units of conservation. Landscapes are the spaces where people, place and species interact,” said Center for Large Landscape Conservation founder and CEO Gary Tabor. “If we are to protect nature in a time of climate change and the livelihoods of people who depend on nature, we must pursue landscape-scale solutions. We thank IALE North America for recognizing our efforts to advance landscape conservation.” 

Some examples of landscape ecology in the Center’s work include: 

  • Developed an innovative habitat connectivity model for the Custer Gallatin National Forest in Montana that is now being used to inform long-range planning for multiple national forests.  
  • Conducted a habitat connectivity analysis for the Pantanal-Chaco region of South America to identify 47 protected and conserved areas that need to stay connected for jaguar movement. 
  • Led two highway assessments in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, developing a cutting-edge, data-driven approach to evaluating wildlife movement and recommending measures to mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions and reconnect habitat. 
  • Worked with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and its partners to envision the second 100 years of conserving the Appalachian Mountain landscape in creating the Eastern Climate Corridor. 
  • Leading the IUCN Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group and its key role in developing international guidelines for maintaining and restoring connected landscapes. 
  • Hosting the Network for Landscape Conservation, community of more than 100 organizations and 2,500 individual landscape conservation practitioners. 

Learn more about our U.S. Program, International Connectivity Program, and the Networks we Host. 

Top photo: Ashville, North Carolina, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Range.

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