You are here

Geography: Idaho

Contemporary fire effects on birds dependant on historical fire regime

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 26, 2016
Researchers studied avian relationships with wildfire to evaluate forest fire and fuels management strategies. Specifically, they document regional differences associated with historical fire regime with implications for broadly implemented strategies aimed at reducing severe wildfire risk. The results suggest that avian-fire relationships differ regionally, and therefore the best management practices for conserving or restoring avian diversity likely differ with historical fire regime.

Experimental Forests: Great places to learn about forest science and management

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 25, 2016
Scientists across four experimental forests (Preist River, Black Hills, Boise Basin, and Deception Creek) worked to provide a suite of ecosystem services from removing fuels to implementing new strategies. Treatment goals were to increase the diversity of forest conditions across the landscapes and provide for a variety of ecosystem service, such as wildlife habitat, wild berries, wood for construction, and hunting opportunities.  

Wildland fire deficit and surplus in the western United States

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 25, 2016
The natural role of fire has been disrupted in many regions of the western United States due to the influence of human activities, which have the potential to both exclude or promote fire, resulting in a “fire deficit” or “fire surplus”, respectively. Consequently, land managers need to better understand current departures from natural levels of fire activity, especially given the desire to maintain and restore resilient landscapes. 

Sagebrush scent identifies species and subspecies

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2016
Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is the dominant plant species across much of the Western U.S. and provide critical habitat and food for many endemic species, including the threatened greater sage-grouse. Sagebrush habitat is imperiled due to disturbances and increased wildfire frequency due to exotic annual grasses. Identification of big sagebrush subspecies is difficult, but critical for successful restoration. Researchers discover that volatiles emitted by sagebrush species and subspecies differ in consistent ways and can be used to accurately identify plants.

Forest Service science bolsters sagebrush and sage-grouse conservation

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 19, 2016
USDA Forest Service (FS) has been a leader for several decades in developing science and applications to support conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse populations. This spotlight describes an assessment that explains how and why understanding and supporting FS science is crucial for future management of sagebrush ecosystems.

Managing invasive annual brome grasses and altered fire regimes

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 19, 2016
Invasive annual brome grasses are resulting in altered fire regimes and conversion of native arid and semi-arid ecosystems in the western United States to annual grass dominance. The problem is particularly acute in sagebrush shrublands where cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has resulted in annual grass fire cycles that are placing numerous native species such as greater sage-grouse at risk and threating ecosystem services such as livestock forage, hunting and recreation, and even clean air and water. This 15-chapter book examines the environmental impacts, invasiveness, environmental controls, and management alternatives for invasive annual brome-grasses.

Surface fuel characteristics, temporal dynamics, and fire behavior of masticated mixed-conifer fuelbeds in the western U.S.

Projects Posted on: August 18, 2016
For the past three years, scientists from the RMRS Fire Sciences Lab in Missoula and the Forestry Sciences Lab in Moscow have been researching mastication as a fuel treatment in the Rocky Mountains. Specifically, they have been interested in how the materials age when they are left on the ground to decompose and how that aging affects their flammability.

Quantifying the combined effects of climate, fire, and treatments on the connectivity and fragmentation of wildlife populations across the Great Basin

Projects Posted on: August 17, 2016
Over one million acres will receive treatments across the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GBLCC) to conserve greater sage-grouse habitat over the next decade. These treatments are intended to restore native sagebrush habitat by reducing encroachment of juniper, infestations of invasive weeds, and wildfire. This project will evaluate the effects of vegetation treatments on population connectivity, genetic diversity and gene flow of wildlife species across the full extent of the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

Techniques to ensure the right sagebrush seed is put in the right place

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 16, 2016
Wildfire, invasive weeds, and climate change are threatening sagebrush ecosystems including the flora and fauna that are dependent upon them. Both Forest Service and BLM policies dictate that successful restoration requires putting the right seed in the right place. However, for many desert species little or no information is available to address these policies, including big sagebrush.

Pinyon jays: Orchardists of the Great Basin’s woodlands

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 01, 2016
Over the past century, many pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Great Basin have expanded their range and increased their stand densities. These changes in structure and extent have effects on both the species that use the woodlands and to species whose habitat is being encroached by them. We observed and described where pinyon jays prefer to cache seeds in order to gain an understanding on how and where expansion and infill is likely to occur and to what extent jays are facilitating these processes.

Pages