Today’s actions can have a significant impact on the future. Land use decisions influence the availability of life-sustaining and life-improving natural resources, ranging from clean water and productive soils to open spaces and cultural heritage sites. The Changing Landscapes Initiative (CLI) takes a landscape-level approach to explore how we can manage working landscapes for the greatest benefit to future generations of people and wildlife. 
 “The Changing Landscapes Initiative” (or, CLI), ties newly developed field surveys that measure pollinator, bird, and mammal diversity, landscape connectivity, stream health, and invasive species threat to modeling approaches that allow us to examine patterns across the overall landscape.

The CLI is led by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Virginia Working Landscapes, Harvard Forest, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. It is currently supported by the Shenandoah National Park Trust, the Piedmont Environmental Council, the Smithsonian Grand Challenges Initiative, and several private foundations.

The guiding mission of CLI is to combine scientific rigor and community wisdom to help secure a vibrant and healthy future for people and wildlife. CLI aims to fulfill this mission by participating and promoting actions to 1) protect the landscape’s ecological and cultural heritage and their contribution to quality of life for current and future generations of people and wildlife; 2) build upon our current understanding of land use and regional planning as it relates to natural resources and the local economy; 3) engage the public in envisioning their shared future and their contribution to its outcome; and 4) educate the public on the importance of wildlife diversity to human well-being.

The CLI’s focal region encompasses a 15 county region along the Blue Ridge in Northern Virginia. Through on-going collaboration, we hope to gain a better overall understanding of our region and guide local and regional decision-making.


About CLI   Our mission, our team, our partnerships 

Where We Work  A 15 county region in Northwestern Virginia 

What's at Stake  The value of smart land use planning

Our Work  How can we plan for an uncertain future?

Our Results & Moving Forward  Exploring land use change impacts to the region


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Virginia Working Landscapes
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
1500 Remount Road
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
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