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Greater Sage-grouse Fire and Invasive Species Assessments

Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team (AMSET) was tasked by the Intermountain Region to complete the Greater Sage-grouse (GRSG) Fire and Invasive Species Assessment (FIAT) specific to each National Forest and Grassland within the Region in cooperation with local resource specialists and Forest Staff. This process is referred to as FS-FIAT

What is FS-FIAT?

FS-FIAT is designed to assess threats to greater sage-grouse and its habitat from Wildfire, Invasive Species, and Conifer Encroachment on each forest in the Intermountain Region that has GRSG habitat. FS-FIAT is a threat-based assessment that provides a list of findings, recommendations, and considerations to protect, maintain, and enhance GRSG habitat. These assessments will compare the importance of GRSG habitat relative to the level or magnitude of the threat for fire operations, fuels management, invasive species, conifer encroachment, and restoration/burned area rehabilitation. Each assessment includes a spatially consistent, repeatable landscape prioritization process to capture resistance to invasive annual grasses and resilience to disturbance principles. The intent of the landscape prioritization is to help inform where management actions and out-year program planning would be most advantageous for the forest or grassland to conserve, protect, and enhance GRSG habitat.

History and Concept

The FIAT concept originated from the LMP amendment process as a means to provide certainty to the FWS that the Land Management Agencies are committed to the conservation of GRSG habitat. The BLM in coordination with multiple partners across the Great Basin conducted a BLM led FIAT process in 2014 and 2015 that included small portions of USFS land, but did not look at all FS land that contained GRSG habitat. The Forest Service made the commitment in the Record of Decision or ROD for the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain Regions to assess all GRSG habitat specific to each forest or grassland. The cornerstone of this assessment is based on recent scientific research on resistance and resilience of Great Basin ecosystems (Chambers et al. 2014).

How is FS-FIAT completed?

To complete these assessments, a series of collaborative meetings have been developed to expedite the process. The intent of the first meeting is to identify the issues, seek out local knowledge, and obtain local data to help inform the process and introduce the AMSET team members to their forest counterparts. The second meeting is designed to present the landscape prioritization process using local data layers and knowledge obtained from the first meeting to refine the methodology and calibrate the results in a collaborative setting. Through management led discussions and questions, participants will design and discuss potential opportunities and management actions based on the landscape prioritization to conserve, protect and enhance habitat for each of the program emphasis areas. The results of this meeting will determine the findings, recommendations and evaluation of potential opportunities for which this assessment is based upon.

Completion Timeline

Table 1
Ashley January 2017
Beaverhead-Deerlodge April 2017
Boise Completed
Bridger-Teton April 2017
Caribou-Targhee Completed
Dixie Completed
Fishlake May 2017
Humbolt-Toiyabe Completed
Manti LaSal May 2017
Medicine Bow – Routt – Thunder Basin Grasslands May 2017
Sawtooth Completed
Salmon-Challis Completed
Uinta Wasatch Cache Completed