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Geography: Idaho

A science-based framework to develop effective management strategies for addressing threats to sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse

FS News Posted on: November 29, 2016
The report, Using Resilience and Resistance Concepts to Manage Threats to Sagebrush Ecosystems, Gunnison Sage-Grouse, and Greater Sage-Grouse in Their Eastern Range: A Strategic Multi-Scale Approach, allows managers to predict how sagebrush ecosystems will respond to both disturbance and management actions in areas that support sage-grouse. Using this approach, managers can better assess habitat threats, target areas for treatment, and develop appropriate management strategies.

A legacy of sagebrush science supports "The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy"

Science Spotlights Posted on: November 22, 2016
The Rocky Mountain Research Station holds a long legacy in sagebrush and rangeland research dating back to the 1930s. With over 70 years of research on sagebrush ecosystem dynamics as well as mechanisms to manage for resilient and resistant sagebrush ecosystems, Forest Service scientists continue as a leading resource for providing sound science to the management of these landscapes.

A legacy of sagebrush science photo gallery

Media Gallery Posted on: November 22, 2016
The Rocky Mountain Research Station holds a long legacy in sagebrush and rangeland research dating back to the 1930s. With over 70 years of research on sagebrush ecosystem dynamics as well as mechanisms to manage for resilient and resistant sagebrush ecosystems, Forest Service scientists continue as a leading resource for providing sound science to the management of these landscapes.

Study gauges the response of wolverines to winter recreation

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 14, 2016
Forest Service scientists and their research partners use a novel approach that includes trapping and fitting wolverines with GPS collars that accurately plot their movements in areas of high winter recreation. Thenvolunteer snowmobilers, back-country skiers, and other recreationists carry GPS units in the same areas used by wolverines. Resulting data show how wolverines respond to winter recreation in terms of their movements, behaviors, and resource-use.

Mapping climate refugia to preserve cold-water biodiversity using crowd-sourced databases

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 20, 2016
Concerns about climate change effects on cold-water biodiversity sparked broad multi-agency collaborative efforts throughout the American West. U.S. Forest Service research teams led development of massive interagency databases that now enable precise mapping of critical habitats and species distributions in streams flowing through 101 National Forests.

Forest Service science bolsters sagebrush and sage-grouse conservation

Media Gallery Posted on: September 16, 2016
Sagebrush ecosystems are among the largest and most threatened ecosystems in North America. Greater sage-grouse has served as the bellwether for species conservation in these ecosystems and has been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act several times. The 2016 Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science assessment will help meet continuing widespread concerns and calls for science-based conservation to mitigate threats to sagebrush ecosystems, conserve populations of sage-grouse and other sagebrush-obligate species, and restore sagebrush ecosystems throughout the western United States. 

A tree-level model of forests in the western United States

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 14, 2016
https://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/53114Maps of the number, size, and species of trees in forests across the western United States are desirable for a number of applications including estimating terrestrial carbon resources, tree mortality following wildfires, and for forest inventory. However, detailed mapping of trees for large areas is not feasible with current technologies. We used a statistical method called random forests for matching forest plot data with biophysical characteristics of the landscape in order to populate entire landscapes with a limited set of forest plot inventory data. 

Wildland fire: Nature’s fuel treatment

Media Gallery Posted on: September 14, 2016
In recent decades, many landscapes across the western United States have experienced substantial fire activity. These fires consume fuels and alter vegetation structure, which may be able to serve as a natural fuel treatment in the same manner as mechanical treatments or prescribed fire. Knowing that fire occurrence, size, and severity are limited by recent wildfires should provide greater flexibility and confidence in managing fire incidents and managing for resource benefit. Specifically, fire managers can use the findings from this study to help predict whether a previous fire will act as a fuel treatment based on fire age, forest type, and expected weather.

Wildland fire: Nature’s fuel treatment

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 14, 2016
In recent decades, many landscapes across the western United States have experienced substantial fire activity. These fires consume fuels and alter vegetation structure, which may be able to serve as a natural fuel treatment in the same manner as mechanical treatments or prescribed fire. Knowing that fire occurrence, size, and severity are limited by recent wildfires should provide greater flexibility and confidence in managing fire incidents and managing for resource benefit. Specifically, fire managers can use the findings from this study to help predict whether a previous fire will act as a fuel treatment based on fire age, forest type, and expected weather.

Using habitat requirements of woodpeckers to design post-fire salvage logging

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 26, 2016
Increases in forest fires are expected with future changes in climate, allowing more opportunities for post-fire salvage logging. Forest managers are challenged with implementing post-fire management policies while concurrently meeting the requirements of existing laws and planning documents to maintain habitat for wildlife species associated with snags. Design criteria for post-fire salvage logging is needed to concurrently manage for economic benefits and wildlife habitat.

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