• Red Rocks with water in front of them in the desert.
  • Clouds behind Joshua Tree and bushes.
  • Desert flowers blooming in bushes in front of mountains in the desert.
  • Setting sun reflecting of clouds of orange and blue behind a joshua tree.
  • Hoover Dam intake towers with water behind the dam showing that it is not full.


The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Science Working Group was tasked by the Desert LCC Steering Committee to conduct a comprehensive assessment of science needs over the Desert LCC region and to prioritize those needs to guide the allocation of future resources towards meeting those science needs. To accomplish this task, the Science Working Group identified 553 science needs from forty published technical documents and resource assessments over the Desert LCC region, six outreach meetings and workshops, and personal communication. Priority needs were then identified through criteria established by the Steering Committee in January, 2012. This report describes the process that was used to identify and prioritize science needs for the Desert LCC. Further, this report presents a list of priority science needs approved by the Steering Committee and describes the comprehensive science needs assessment that served as the basis for establishing these priorities.

The Science Working Group is recommending 23 priority science needs that fall into four categories: Terrestrial, Water, Cultural, and Monitoring. These categories will be further refined through ongoing Science Working Group science prioritization, scoping, and strategic planning processes (e.g., inclusion of water policy, aquatic resources, social science, and socioeconomics within existing categories). The priority science needs within categories were organized into first and second tiers. Tier-one science needs should be generally considered the priority, however depending on specific budget opportunities or project objectives; it is helpful to have both tiers available for funding flexibility.

These priorities will not likely be addressed simultaneously or through the same funding mechanisms. Partners within the LCC may choose to focus on priorities that specifically meet certain needs of a particular interest. Moreover, the Steering Committee may wish to focus resources on particular needs as the urgency to meet a certain goals changes. Monitoring needs are listed separately from the other categories because there are several long-term monitoring programs that may be well- positioned to meet these needs (e.g., the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Networks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge Inventory and Monitoring Program, and the Long-Term Ecological Research programs).

Development of Science Priorities for the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative:
A Comprehensive Assessment of Science Needs
(PDF- 963 KB)

Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative Science Needs - FY 2012 (PDF - 579KB)

2013 Desert LCC Critical Management Questions - (PDF - 126KB)
2013 Desert LCC Preguntas cruciales de manejo - (PDF - 130KB)

Last Updated: December 13, 2013