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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Conservation and restoration of the sagebrush biome

Photo of The following images are The following images are "Representative sagebrush ecological types in the Cold Deserts. chambers-framework-fig24a.tif: Mountain big sagebrush/mountain brush type with relatively cold and moist soils characterized by high resilience and resistance. chambers-framework-fig24b.tif: mountain big sagebrush type with cool and moist soils and moderate resilience and resistance, chambers-framework-fig24c.tif: Wyoming big sagebrush type with warm and dry soils and low resilience and resistance Snapshot : Land management agencies face the need for effective strategic conservation actions for the conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems. For nearly a century, the Forest Service has studied sagebrush ecosystems and sagebrush obligate species such as sage-grouse with a focus on threats such as invasive annual grasses and wildfire, and management strategies, including conifer removal and restoration. In 2014, the agency became part of a synergistic interagency collaboration for conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems that began with development of two General Technical Reports, published by the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, on using resilience and resistance concepts to manage threats to sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Chambers, Jeanne C.  
Research Location : Oregon; Washington; California; Nevada; Utah; New Mexico; Arizona; Idaho; Montana; South Dakota; Wyoming
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1343

Summary

The Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome that exists in 11 western States. The framework uses a geospatial process in which sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative, invasive plant species is linked to information on the habitat requirements of sagebrush obligate species. Forest Service scientists assess the predominant ecosystem and land use and development threats, and a habitat matrix is used to help decision makers evaluate risks and determine appropriate management strategies at regional and local scales. The framework provides a new and valuable approach that helps to ensure conservation and restoration actions are implemented where they will have the greatest benefits. Jeanne Chambers, a research ecologist at the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, led the team of scientists and managers who developed the framework. . The team included individuals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Natural Resources and Conservation Service, U.S. Department of the Interior USGS, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Wyoming, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and individuals from the departments responsible for wildlife in the states of Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Region 1
  • WO State and Private Forestry
  • U.S. Department of the Interior agencies: Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service
  • USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service
  • and, individuals from the departments responsible for wildlife in the states of Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.
  • the University of Wyoming
  • the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies