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Individual Highlight

A Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome: Management Applications

Photo of Western plain covered with sagebrush.
Western plain covered with sagebrush. Snapshot : An unprecedented conservation effort is underway across 11 western states to address threats to sagebrush ecosystems and the many species that depend on them. The USDA Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Interior released the Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome (Part 2) to assist these efforts. The framework provides a transparent, ecologically responsible approach for making policy and management decisions for sagebrush landscapes.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Chambers, Jeanne C.  
Research Location : Northern Region (R1); Rocky Mountain Region (R2); Southwestern Region (R3); Intermountain Region (R4); Pacific Southwest Region (R5); Pacific Northwest Region (R6)?
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2019
Highlight ID : 1544


Widespread concern about conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse creates expectations that natural resource agencies will manage sagebrush habitat effectively to conserve sage-grouse across the 11 western states encompassed by the sagebrush biome. An extensive, collaborative state and federal partnership of more than 30 individuals has led to a two-part Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome to address threats to sagebrush ecosystems and associated species. Part 1 of the framework provides tools for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome. Recent research provides the basis for characterizing sagebrush ecosystems according to their ecological resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses. This characterization allows managers to prioritize conservation and restoration actions in those areas where they are likely to have the greatest benefits and to determine the most appropriate management strategies. Part 2 of the framework focuses on management considerations and tradeoffs for applying the scientific information, geospatial analyses, and decision-support tools in Part 1. The emphasis of Part 2 is on key resource management topics, including monitoring and adaptive management, climate adaptation, wildfire and vegetation management, nonnative invasive plant management, application of National Seed Strategy concepts, livestock grazing management, wild horse and burro considerations, and tradeoffs and integration.?

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Francis Kilkenny, Rocky Mountain Research Station
  • Hope Woodward, National Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  •  Linda Joyce, Rocky Mountain Research Station
  •  Mary M. Rowland, Pacific Northwest Research Station
  •  Mike Ielmini, National Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • University of Wyoming
  • Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies