Ecosystem services are the benefits people receive from nature. These are abundant in the Appalachians, from clean drinking water and sustainably harvested forest products to nature-based tourism. They also include the sense of home that communities find in rural landscapes and the values that Americans place on conserving biodiversity.
These essential services and the natural resources they depend on are extremely valuable to society, but are placed at risk by processes driving landscape change in the Appalachians such as urbanization and climate change. Some processes, such as energy development, produce both risks and benefits to society. Our challenge is to find a balance that sustains all of the benefits that people value.
To meet this need, the Appalachian LCC has collaborated with the US Forest Service to provide information and tools that fully integrate society’s value of ecosystems with future threats to better inform natural resource planning and management. Through links on this page, users can access information, maps, data, and additional resources brought together through this collaboration.