The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture has developed priority scores for project selection to assist in identifying areas that are best for restoration, best for enhancement, and best for protection for the states in the EBTJV region.
Using the Geonode Conservation Design GIS Portal, you can click on a subwatershed within your project area and obtain the priority score for that subwatershed.
The decline of brook trout populations over a large geographic region in the eastern United States was the impetus for the creation of the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) conservation strategy to protect, enhance, and restore populations at the subwatershed scale. Due to finite resources it is not possible to implement conservation projects in all subwatersheds. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a scoring system that would identify subwatersheds with the greatest potential for successful protection, enhancement, or restoration. Also, while the potential of an individual subwatershed is important, assessing that subwatershed in the context of its surrounding subwatersheds aids in identifying areas for population expansion and indicating patches with a high likelihood of persistence. The priority scores for the EBTJV subwatersheds were developed using a model-based approach that relates a measure of priority with a set of variables associated with the subwatersheds. This prioritization method also adds a measure of priority from neighboring subwatersheds to take into account the potential to increase habitat connectivity and resilience. The priority scores at the subwatershed level were determined using the estimated classification probabilities from a Classification and Regression Tree (CART) model, the estimated probabilities of neighboring subwatersheds, and the EBTJV strategy to Protect (Conserve), Enhance, and Restore.
This document describes the methodology used to determine the subwatershed priority scores for Brook Trout conservation actions.
How to assign Priority Scores
These maps contain subwatershed priority scores that are intended to assist in identifying areas that are best suited for brook trout protection, enhancement, and restoration projects. The higher the subwatershed score, the higher the priority for conservation action; the "best of the best" subwatersheds have priority scores that range from 1.30 to 1.66.