Michael Carrier has been appointed to be the coordinator of the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, a position that will lead a partnership effort to obtain the science needed to respond to climate change and other threats to fish and wildlife and their habitats and to support large, landscape scale conservation.
His appointment was announced last week by Robyn Thorson, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region.
The cooperative is a partnership among state and federal agencies, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, universities and others stretching from southeast Alaska to northern California, including vast coastal ecosystems. It is designed to inform natural resource management needs to address climate change and other environmental stressors within and across large, connected natural areas. For more information go to http://www.fws.gov/pacific/Climatechange/pdf/DoINorthPacificLCC.pdf
Carrier worked for the state of Oregon for the past 10 years, serving as the governor's Natural Resources policy director for the past six years.
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are self-directed conservation partnerships supported by the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies intended to address the challenges of climate change in an integrated fashion across broad areas. LCCs will provide scientific information and technical support to better understand species and habitat responses to climate change and other ecological changes (such as changing fire regimes and spread of invasive species). These cooperatives will provide the scientific basis needed to help inform the development of strategic, landscape-scale conservation efforts on the ground.
"Climate change is the most complex environmental and conservation challenge facing the 21st Century; its impacts will exacerbate existing stressors on our fish and wildlife resources," Thorson said. "In the Pacific Northwest, we're concerned about rising sea levels, widespread melting of snow and ice, changes in ocean currents and precipitation patterns, ocean acidification, coastal erosion, and increased flooding rates. All will contribute to increased biological impacts such as new exotic species invasions, disease outbreaks, disrupted food webs, loss of intact plant communities and ultimately, increased species extinctions."
Carrier served as Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski's principal adviser on all natural resource and environmental issues from 2004 to the present. Prior to that, he was the director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for four years. He also served in a variety of management positions for natural resource agencies in Iowa and Indiana prior to moving to Oregon.
He began his new position Nov. 8.