US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Jack L. Butler

Scientist Emeritus
8221 S. Highway 16
Rapid City
South Dakota
United States

Phone: 605-716-2160
Contact Jack L. Butler

Current Research

  • Biology, ecological impact, and management of invasive plants.
  • Long-term evaluation of patterns of vegetation recovery following successful suppression of invasive plants.
  • Establishing ecological thresholds for managing grassland vegetation, especially in reference to managing prairie dog colonies as habitat for black-footed ferrets.
  • Research Interests

    My research interests focuses on the ecology and management of the vegetation associated with the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and forests of the Northern Great Plains. This includes the effects of invasive plants on the ecosystem structure, function, and sustainability, and vegetation management in relation to natural and anthropogenic distubances.

    Past Research

    The Northern Great Plains contains some of the largests undisturbed tracts of native grasslands in the United States. These diverse ecosystems provide a wide variety of consumptive and non-consumptive resources. Research is needed to develop the innovative tools and techniques that provide a range of sustainable alternatives consistent with the compromises that are often inherent in simultaneously managing for multiple use.

    Why This Research is Important

  • I have published several papers on the ecology and management on probably the most endangered plant community in the Northern Great Plains, the Green-Ash Draw.
  • I was heavily involved the National Vegetation Mapping Program in the Northern Great Plains where I worked on team mapping and classifying a wide variety of plant communities.
  • I was part of large-scale research and demonstration project funded and administered by the Agricultural Research Service. The Project, called TEAM (The Ecological Area-wide Management) Leafy Spurge evaluated the ecology and management of leafy spurge on a regional basis (ND, SD, WY, and MT).
  • Education

    • Southeastern Oklahoma State University, B.S. Wildlife Conservation 1979
    • North Dakota State University, M.S. Botany 1983
    • Texas A&M University, Ph.D. Range Science 1986

    Awards & Recognition

    • National Grasslands Research and Technology Award, 2011
      Awarded by the National Grasslands Council

    Featured Publications & Products


    Research Highlights


    Climate Change and Grazing Alter Invasive and Native Perennial Grass Stem Recruitment

    Scientists found that smooth brome, an invasive perennial grass, out-performed the native western wheatgrass under a variety of temperature and ...


    Climate and Grazing Affect Prairie Grass Reproduction

    Climate Change and Grazing Can Alter the Amount of Bud Outgrowth of Both Invasive and Native Grasses.


    Investigating New Emerging Invasive Plant Threats

    Forest Service scientists and partners developed an aggressive approach to investigate the biological and habitat characteristics of sickleweed, ...


    Ponderosa Pine Understory Vegetation Recovers Quickly Following Timber Harvest

    Creating and maintaining a healthy forest relies on the resiliency of understory vegetation. The understory vegetation is largely responsible fo ...


    The Bane of Weed Management: Secondary Invasions

    Weed management can result in unintentional secondary invasion: an increase in non-target exotics following efforts to suppress targeted invasiv ...


    Last updated on : 02/05/2021