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A major policy focus of the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) report is support for large landscape conservation. Federal Agency programs are increasingly focused on protecting ecosystem function at the broadest of scales. Regional landscape conservation initiatives are benefiting from new Federal funding sources and technical assistance. These initiatives are also leveraging the research and policy behind the AGO report to enhance their strategic efforts.
Over fifty environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and The Appalachian Mountain Club, came together to release a Policy Agenda for Conserving New England's Forests. The report outlines actions to promote forest conservation as a way to help protect important ecosystem services, while also serving as an economic driver for the region. The report further concludes that landscape-scale preservation is the right approach, calling for protection efforts in several of the important landscapes highlighted in the AGO report, including the North Woods of Maine and the Connecticut River Watershed of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The report also highlights the important role that the US Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program will play in achieving landscape goals, echoing a similar recommendation made in the AGO report.
The use of the AGO report to create policies for the New England region shows its potential to improve landscape practice; hopefully, this is only the beginning.