The WLCI is multifaceted organization involving several teams and groups composed of staff from partner agencies, local government, and other groups. Each group has a unique role in facilitating the success of the WLCI including providing support and information to the CT. Communication among the various groups and teams leads to mutual understanding of implementation actions, incorporation of scientific information to landscape-scale conservation, and local-level support for implementation.
To facilitate local participation and foster local involvement in and support for WLCI projects, several Local Project Development Teams have been created. These teams are located geographically to facilitate planning and involvement by multiple organizations. Each Local Project Development Team includes local biologists, range managers, conservation district personnel, landowners, county commissioners, and other interested parties. The main purpose of the Local Project Development Teams is to cooperatively create projects which address identified priority needs for local wildlife, habitat and other resource issues. These teams will prioritize their recommended projects annually to provide local-level input on the types of conservation actions that should be implemented. The CT, in conjunction with the Support Subcommittee, will work closely with Local Project Development Teams to develop an annual schedule for ranking, funding, and implementing WLCI conservation actions. The CT will assist the teams by processing requests for WLCI funds and arranging funding for projects through other federal, state, and regional funding sources such as the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund, Wyoming Big Game License Coalition, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Bill program funding, and other external funding sources. This project development and funding structure should allow the local resource managers to focus more time on resource issues and less time on gathering funding for projects. In addition to assisting with providing funding for conservation actions, the CT will provide information to the Local Project Development Teams that is generated by the EC, USGS Science Team, STAC, and Data and Information Management Team. The goal is to have locally-led and coordinated conservation actions that target WLCI priority conservation actions, are based on scientific findings, and are incorporated into the adaptive management process. For additional information about LPDT projects and ways to get involved, please visit LPDT Resources page.
The WLCI monitoring team is an interagency committee developed at the request of the WLCI Executive Committee and Science Technical Advisory Committee to gather information, provide summaries, consult and coordinate with stakeholders regarding monitoring WLCI resources. The Interagency Monitoring Team (IAMT) is comprised of a representative from each WLCI partner organization, and is currently co-chaired by 2 USGS scientists. The primary focus of the IAMT has been the collection and organization of information on monitoring activities conducted throughout WLCI. Team members identified past and ongoing monitoring efforts within their organization, and subsequent data mining efforts detailed specifics of some of these activities. This information has been organized in a centrally located accessible database for use as a reference tool, and to initiate aggregation and analyses of data where applicable. Information is currently being made accessible through the Monitoring page of the WLCI website. Gathering information on the remaining activities and updating the monitoring database with ongoing and new monitoring activities is a continuous task for the IAMT.
Team members are expected to participate on conference calls and attend meetings, and be cognizant of monitoring efforts within their agency. The IAMT holds quarterly 1-hr conference calls, and meets in person once a year at a central location. These interactions afford opportunities for team members to provide guidance on the format and content of the database, to provide updates on monitoring activities within their agency, and to collectively contribute to the utility and success of the IAMT.
The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) Memorandum of Understanding identifies the Data and Information Management Team (DIMT) as one of four groups that implements WLCI operations. The WLCI MOU released in July 2008 defines DIMT’s role as the following: The DIMT will build and maintain the WLCI Data Catalog and Website, and establish a data management network necessary to ensure continued maintenance of the data catalog. The foremost priority of the DIMT is to develop a robust data management infrastructure to store and disseminate information, enabling the WLCI to accomplish its mission of providing science for effective decision-making. The DIMT is charged with gathering and cataloging information obtained by WLCI-sponsored activities, and assembling resources and tools to assist information management and data analysis. The DIMT identifies appropriateness and applicability of cataloged data for the WLCI.
For several years, the USGS has been developing a data management infrastructure for USGS and partner scientific efforts to promote collaboration, data cataloging, sharing, and dissemination. The WLCI data catalog resides in the established infrastructure, benefitting from technological and procedural data management advancements made collectively for all users. The DIMT is asked to review the data infrastructure developed by the USGS for the WLCI, and other scientific efforts, to determine suitability and additional needs to help expose, catalog, and share WLCI science and activities.
The interagency DIMT includes members representing WLCI partners, including BLM, USFWS, USGS, WGFD, and University of Wyoming. The DIMT meets semi-annually to identify new data of interest produced by participating agencies that may be included in the WLCI data catalog and shared with partners. Team members are asked to participate in periodic meetings and be knowledgeable about WLCI-relevant data produced by their agency. Members are asked to catalog and describe the data in the WLCI data catalog, including access methods (for sensitive data, agencies may be contacted directly), and upload available datasets to share with partners. The WLCI Coordination Team provides guidance for internal and external outreach products and develops strategic planning and goals to guide DIMT’s tasks and products. The WLCI Communication Team provides input, guidance, and contributes to the routinely maintained WLCI website.
The STAC advises the Coordination Team and Executive Committee on scientific and technical issues affecting southwest Wyoming, including reviewing development of an overall science plan to meet management needs; identifying and prioritizing relevant research and monitoring projects; and providing input to proposed mitigation projects. Major WLCI science work is conducted by the USGS in coordination with the STAC.
The Support Subcommittee provides the WLCI with support and advice from ground-level managers that are fully integrated into the goals, objectives, and processes of the WLCI. The Support Subcommittee communicates across agency jurisdictions in an effort to meet the landscape-level habitat priorities of the WLCI and collaborates on projects of interest to the WLCI. The CT coordinates with the Support Subcommittee to incorporate the priorities of various agencies and to ensure support for conservation work. Because the Support Subcommittee is made up of ground-level managers, they are able to provide support for having their staff involved in development of conservation actions through participation in Local Project Development Teams.
The CT works with various internal and external groups that support or may support the work of the WLCI. Each agency representative on the CT serves as the primary point of contact for that agency. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) CT member maintains contact with the other WGFD offices in the WLCI area to keep them involved in project development, implementation and monitoring. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) CT member contacts the BLM field offices in the WLCI area to
coordinate development and implementation of conservation actions with them. The FWS CT member maintains contact with other components of the FWS involved in the WLCI (i.e., Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and National Wildlife Refuges), develops Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances with interested landowners, and completes any consultation required by the Endangered Species Act. The USGS CT member works with the USGS Science Team to ensure that their work will help inform on-the-ground management actions. The Wyoming Department of Agriculture CT member reaches out to the agricultural community to foster relationships for future WLCI work. All of the CT members will likely need to help with the roles described for specific agency representatives. CT members will also attend and facilitate Local Project Development Team meetings.
The CT works directly with the Forest Service, county commissioners, and conservation districts (all represented on the EC) to ensure their interests are met in the development, implementation and monitoring of WLCI actions. These needs will also be met through interactions between the CT and Support Subcommittee and at Local Project Development Team meetings.