The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative encompasses portions of five states: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, as well as a substantial portion of Northern Mexico. It is topographically complex and includes three deserts (Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan), grass-lands and valley bottoms, and isolated mountain ranges in the southern portion of the Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The richness of the topography leads to equally diverse species composition; the area supports habitat for many native plants, fish and wildlife species, including many endemic species that are extremely susceptible to climate change.

The Steering Committee for the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative was selected at a meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., on April 27-28, 2011. The Steering Committee Meeting was attended by 60 partners within the Desert LCC Region. The meeting attendees identified and selected the Steering Committee members from among their respective organizations. The Steering Committee is currently represented by six representatives from non-governmental organizations, five from State agencies, representatives from five tribes, nine representatives from Federal agencies, and one international organization.

In addition, a Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative Science Sub-Committee has been established to identify and prioritize preliminary science needs based on stakeholder input, and an assessment of available science to address those needs.

This year, Reclamation is planning to post a Funding Opportunity Announcement to target projects that meet the shared science needs identified by stakeholders within the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

To read more about the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative or to see those serving on the two committees, please visit: www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/lcc.html.

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Original author: John