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Geography: Oregon

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.

Evaluating cost-effectiveness of multi-purpose fuel treatments in western dry mixed-conifer forest considering hazard, risk, longevity, and co-benefits

Projects Posted on: August 18, 2016
The research objective is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a broad range of fuel treatment designs, patterned on treatments applied to dry mixed conifer forest, which address multiple components of resistance to fire in diverse forest settings. The project design accounts for fuel treatment longevity by considering and comparing the effectiveness and costs of treatment over a multi-decade planning horizon, addressing the challenge of rating cost-effectiveness in the context of multiple treatment and land management objectives, and providing a framework for assessing the stand-level effects of fuel treatment on fire behavior and resistance to fire.

Mapping aboveground biomass annually across the northwestern USA from LiDAR and Landsat image time series

Projects Posted on: August 18, 2016
The cumulative area of LiDAR collections across multiple ownerships in the northwestern USA has reached the point that land managers of the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and other stakeholders would greatly benefit from a strategy for how to utilize LiDAR for regional aboveground biomass inventory. The need for Carbon Monitoring Systems (CMS) can be more robustly addressed by using not only available NASA satellite data products, but also commercial airborne LiDAR data collections.

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.

Wildflowers are key to sagebrush restoration

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 17, 2016
Focusing on wildflowers (forbs) during restoration work in the western sagebrush ecosystem can benefit sage-grouse, pollinators, and the iconic Monarch butterfly. Can a more holistic approach be taken to maximize the effectivness of wildlife conservation? Outplanting forb seedlings in high-density islands may be a way to accelerate the pace of restoration, reduce the amount of seeds required, and provide critical linkage among remaining high-quality sagebrush habitat.

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.

Collaborative science to foster native plant conservation and restoration

FS News Posted on: July 12, 2016
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service western Research Stations form a collaborative group, Western Center for Native Plant Conservation and Restoration Science, with a mission to address - and provide science-based solutions to - ongoing challenges in the conservation and restoration of western ecosystems.

Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea L.) in the northern Great Basin - Research Summary

Documents and Media Posted on: May 25, 2016
Rush skeletonweed, an exotic herbaceous member of the sunflower family, has spread rapidly from its first known occurrence near Spokane, Washington and now occurs on 2.5 million acres in the Western U.S. Recent research has focused on development of more effective biocontrols, its response to fire in the sagebrush ecosystem and its potential for spread in the Great Basin. Document Type: White Papers

Mountain Streams Offer Climate Refuge

FS News Posted on: April 04, 2016
A new study, led by Dr. Daniel Isaak, offers hope for cold-water species in the face of climate change. The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, addresses a longstanding paradox between predictions of widespread extinctions of cold-water species and a general lack of evidence for those extinctions despite decades of recent climate change.

Free master class offered for FireWorks educational trunk

FS News Posted on: March 23, 2016
The Rocky Mountain Research Station's Missoula Fire Lab is offering it's annual free 2-day Fireworks Class for teachers, youth leaders, agency educators, communication specialists, and outdoor educators across the west. Find out how you can participate!