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Forest Service leader and partners work to conserve California landscapes

John Heil
Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Forest Service
July 14, 2014 at 10:30am

This summer, USDA is highlighting partnerships to invest in the future of rural America. Our partners work with us year after year to leverage resources and grow economic opportunities. They are the key to ensuring our rural communities thrive. Follow more of our stories on Twitter at @USDA or using the hashtag #RuralPartners.


Working with partners to accomplish mutual goals in conservation management is one of the greatest joys for Diana Craig in her role as the deputy director of Ecosystem Management in the Pacific Southwest Region for the U.S. Forest Service.


She is especially proud of her work on the California Landscape Conservation Cooperatives steering committee for the past two years. Comprised of non-governmental organizations and state and federal agencies, their goal is to look at landscape scales and improve the link between science and management in how to maintain ecosystems in the face of climate change, urbanization, and other stressors. The cooperative has facilitated a number of projects, including looking at where sensitive ecosystems are headed with climate change, which species and species habitat is the most vulnerable, and checking sea levels to see if they are on the rise.


“It is important that we think strategically about environmental issues and balance the most appropriate actions for animal and plant species with other natural resource management objectives,” Craig said. “By working with environmental and resource management organizations and agencies throughout the state, we can foster more support in achieving our mission of ecological restoration.”


“It is a team effort, and working with my Forest Service colleagues allows us to use a variety of skills to achieve the best outcomes in our partnership efforts. Using all of our talents, I believe we can take on any challenge and to do the best to conserve our landscapes.”


Craig has always had a love for animals and enjoys bird and mammal-watching. She met her husband Bill of 28 years in college and knew he was the right one for her after assisting here with her thesis project on the food habits of mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats.


“We had to collect scat in the field in order to study the contents under a microscope and he was willing to go out and help me with it,” said Craig. “I knew he was a keeper.”


Read more about Craig in the Forest Service feature Faces of the Forest, a project of the agency’s Office of Communication to showcase the people, places and professions within our agency.

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rural partners
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california landscape conservation cooperatives
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