Mark Drew

Mark Drew

Mark Drew, United States

Dr. Mark Drew is California Trout’s Sierra Headwaters Program Director. Mark is the founder and prior Director of the Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Program. Prior to joining CalTrout, Mark worked as The Nature Conservancy’s Southeastern Caribbean Program’s Protected Areas Specialist. Prior to working for The Nature Conservancy, Mark spent almost 15 years involved, both academically and professionally, in the fields of resource conservation, tropical food production and livelihood systems in the U.S. mainland, Oceania, and the Asia region.  Mark holds a B.S. degree in Forestry and Natural Resources Management, an M.A. degree in International Development Policy and a Doctorate degree in Forestry and Resource Conservation from the University of Florida.  Mark’s professional interests center largely on tackling challenging issues that address the needs of both human and natural systems.

Presentation Title: SIERRA MEADOW STRATEGY: A PROCESS AND OUTCOME CENTERED ON INCREASING PACE AND SCALE OF MEADOW RESTORATION

Current estimates indicate that meadows cover approximately 192,000 acres within the Sierra Nevada. Meadows’ unique hydrologic and ecological functions are recognized as being vital to watershed health and are valued for the ecosystem goods and services they provide. However, somewhere between 40-60% of meadows are in a degraded state. Stresses such as climate change continue to threaten Sierra meadows and bold actions are necessary to restore and protect them. The Sierra Meadows Partnership was formed, in part, to address this critical need. Most recently, the Partnership, comprised of a wide array of stakeholders, has spearheaded an effort to complete a Sierra Meadow Strategy. The overarching goal of the Strategy is to establish and implement a common vision necessary to increase the pace, scale and efficacy of meadow restoration using an “All Hands-All Lands” approach. Achieving desired conditions is the driver of management actions. To achieve desired conditions, six Goals are identified: restore, conserve and protect 30,000 acres by 2030; protect meadow soil resources; protect and restore diversity of meadow types; improve efficiency of regulatory requirements; secure funding and; increase capacity and partnership potential. To achieve these goals, three Approaches need to be implemented which include: restore meadows to desired conditions; enhance regulatory and institutional coordination and; increase and diversify political and financial support for meadow restoration in the greater Sierra. The process of developing the proposed Sierra Meadow Strategy can serve as a model for other collaborative efforts centered on ecological planning and restoration to improve resilience of focal ecosystems.

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