Protect current patterns of biodiversity

This represents a baseline objective reflecting Aldo Leopold's admonition that "the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to keep all of the parts." Most plans will benefit from including this objective because it has the least uncertainty in the short term, and other adaptation strategies require it as a baseline state for future projections. The intent is to identify current patterns of biodiversity across landscapes and reduce stressors as a way to increase the probability that key components of biodiversity (e.g., vulnerable species, habitat cores, and high value ecological processes) persist or improve into the future. This objective also recognizes that species within communities are interdependent with each other and may provide important ecological services through those interdependencies. For example, native insect pollinator species diversity may be a key determinant of the success of high-value fruit and vegetable farming, especially when commercial species of pollinators such as European honeybees are in short supply. Predator species may prevent prey population outbreaks thereby protecting ecosystems from damaging pests. Forest tree species within watersheds help to protect water quantity and quality.

Species and populations

Ecosystem Level

Landscape Level