Critical local linkages includes two Designing Sustainable Landscapes (DSL) products that measure the relative potential to improve local aquatic connectivity through restoration, including dam removals and culvert upgrades. A complete description of the critical local linkage assessment is provided in the technical document on connectivity (McGarigal et al 2017. Here, we briefly describe the dam removal and culvert upgrade layers. These particular products were initially developed for the Connecticut River watershed as part of the Connect the Connecticut project (www.connecttheconnecticut.org) — a collaborative partnership under the auspices of the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC), and subsequently developed for the entire Northeast region as part of the Nature's Network project (www.naturesnetwork.org). Briefly, each dam or road-stream crossing is scored based on its potential to improve local connectivity through the corresponding restoration action, but only where it matters — in places where the current ecological integrity is not already seriously degraded too much.
McGarigal, Kevin; Compton, Brad; Plunkett, Ethan; DeLuca, Bill; and Grand, Joanna, "Designing Sustainable Landscapes: Critical Local Linkages" (2018). Data and Datasets. 55.