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Geography: Southwestern Region (R3)

Back from the brink: Framework to sustain resilience to species at risk

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 14, 2019
The Regeneration for Resilience (R4R) framework provides a decision structure to prioritize limited resources and utilize seedling planting and natural regeneration management to offer the best likelihood of success in positioning stands and landscapes to support resilience self-sustaining tree populations that are threatened by invasive pests. Effective management of forest regeneration dynamics can increase forest resilience and adaptive capacity to mitigate impacts of invasive species.

Remnant old-growth ponderosa pine forests provide insights on spatial patterns

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 06, 2019
Researchers are increasingly recognizing that ponderosa pine forests naturally occur in clumps of trees with isolated single trees in a matrix of non-forested openings. It turns out that this spatial pattern is important in sustaining ecological processes such as fire spread, tree growth and regeneration, and creates biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Yet, most past studies have examined spatial patterns on small plots, which underestimates the sizes of tree groups and openings.  

Climate variability, carbon, drought and fire, in arid-semi-arid ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 01, 2019
Using the best available science and tools, we can project the effects of today’s management actions on tomorrow’s non-forest vegetation assemblage, carbon, and productivity while considering changing climates. 

Grasslands, rangelands and beyond: Predicting landscape conditions with ST-Sim

Projects Posted on: July 31, 2019
Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists partnered with a company called Apex Resource Management Solutions (commonly known as “Apex”) to use a software-based ecological simulation tool called ST-Sim, which is short for state-and-transition simulation model. Using computer-aided modeling, land management teams can use ST-Sim to document or justify management actions in forthcoming forest plans and NEPA documentation. ST-Sim allows managers to ask landscape-wide “what-if” questions based on different management regimes and land treatments while estimating interactions with expected climate changes.

Bridging the lines of communication between and among researchers and resource managers

Projects Posted on: July 31, 2019
Ecosystems are increasingly threatened by fire, insects, disease, invasive species, drought, and climate change. Shifting landscapes and interactive disturbances challenge land managers who must meet particular land management objectives. Three concurrent activities are helping managers access adaptation strategies and tactics that can address ongoing challenges to forest and grassland productivity, resilience and restoration.

Modeling Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo suitable habitat in Arizona over the next century

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 23, 2019
The western distinct population segment of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo (wYBC), listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, has experienced severe population declines due to loss and fragmentation of riparian habitats. To assist ongoing conservation efforts by the Audubon Tucson Society, we are implementing MaxEnt to model suitable habitat for wYBC in Arizona under current and future conditions.

After Fire: Landscape toolkit for the Southwest

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 16, 2019
Wildfires, an important natural disturbance in southwestern ecosystems, can present challenges to resource managers, communities, and private landowners when they burn areas subject to post-fire flooding and erosion. Many government agencies and research institutions have developed science and management tools for estimating post-fire effects and mitigating risks in burned landscapes. We assessed the utility of currently available tools and resources for application on non-federal lands and by non-federal user groups.

Rocky Mountain Research Station Forest Inventory & Analysis: New Mexico

Pages Posted on: July 10, 2019
Inventory and monitoring efforts conducted by Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists present a systematic compilation of forest statistics of the state.

New research quantifies future wildfire impacts to communities in the Western United States

FS News Posted on: June 18, 2019
The Forest Service has developed a new cross-boundary assessment tool that maps 240 million acres where significant wildfire ignitions can potentially impact over 1,800 Western communities. This new framework is described in the report Cross-boundary Wildfire and Community Exposure Assessment (RMRS-General Technical Report-392), which was recently released by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and Oregon State University.

America's Grasslands - audiovisual presentation

Documents and Media Posted on: June 14, 2019
The National Grassland Council has prepared an audiovisual presentation about the history and value of our National Grasslands. GSD Research Ecologist Jackie Ott, Rapid City and member of the National Grassland Council, helped to prepare the presentation which she narrates. The presentation takes 10 minutes and is a fascinating account of the homesteading period, 1930’s Dust Bowl, formation of the national grasslands, and their current multiple uses and contributions to the national economy. Document Type: Presentations

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