Northeastern High-Elevation Areas:
Ecological Values and Conservation Priorities
David A. Publicover1,*, Kenneth D. Kimball2, and Catherine J. Poppenwimer1
1Appalachian Mountain Club, PO Box 298, Gorham, NH 03581. 2Appalachian Mountain Club (retired), PO Box 596, Jackson, NH 03846. *Corresponding author.
Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 28, Special Issue 11 (2021): 129–155
High-elevation habitats are a limited yet critical component of the northeastern landscape that provide important habitat and climate change adaptation values. This study examines the extent, conservation status, condition, and ecological values of high-elevation areas (defined as greater than 823 m [2700 ft] in elevation) in New England and New York. We identified a total of 765 distinct areas at least 4 ha (10 ac) in size. We assessed these areas for their level of conservation, the extent of development and recent timber harvesting, and 14 ecological values. We developed a quantitative scoring system that allowed us to rank areas for their conservation value and identify the most significant unconserved areas. While 86% of high-elevation land across the region has some form of conservation protection, significant areas remain unconserved, particularly in the Western Mountains region of Maine. We discuss the importance of additional high-elevation conservation to regional climate-change adaptation and the potential for mountains to serve as climate change refugia.
Download Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers. To subscribe click here.)
Access Journal Content
Open access browsing of table of contents and abstract pages. Full text pdfs available for download for subscribers.
Issue-in-Progress: Vol.30 (1) ... early view