Sagebrush Steppe Treatment and Evaluation Project
Topics and EcosystemsTopics:
Managing Piñon, Juniper and Sagebrush Ecosystems
The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) is a comprehensive, integrated long-term study evaluating the ecological effects of fire and fire surrogate treatments designed to reduce fuel and to restore sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities of the Great Basin and surrounding areas. The overarching objective of the project is to define the conditions that facilitate recovery of sagebrush communities following treatment, and the conditions that result in ecological threshold crossings and the need for active restoration. Standard management treatments (fire, mechanical thinning, and herbicide) were implemented between 2006 and 2009 over gradients of cheatgrass (B. tectorum) invasion and piņon and juniper expansion at 21 different sites. An inter-disciplinary approach monitoring nearly 100 variables describing treatment effects on vegetation, soils, wildlife, and fuels is being used at all sites. A multi-variate approach to data analysis is being used to provide information on ecological thresholds and treatment effectiveness. Recommendations and guidelines will be developed for fuels management and the maintenance and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems. These results also will be useful landscape-level strategic planning and for understanding the implications of climate change. Additional information on this large, multi-investigator project can be found at http://www.sagestep.org.
|Chambers, Jeanne C||Research Ecologist||775-784-5329|
|Tausch, Robin J||Research Rangeland Scientist||775-784-5329|