A symposium held September 15-18,1997, in Provo, UT, and Sanpete County, UT, provided information on the ecology, management, resource values, and restoration of pinyon-juniper communities in the Interior Western United States. The conference was hosted by the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in cooperation with personnel from other agencies and organizations. Oral and poster presentations were given by scientists, land managers, and educators. Also included was a field tour to observe distribution and areas of occurrence of various woodland types. Mechanical chaining and seeding demonstrations exhibited operational procedures, removal of competition, and creation of multiple seedbeds. Comparisons of older treatments where introduced species were planted were made with more recent restoration plantings designed to restore native understory herbs and shrubs. The field tour also emphasized identification and characterization of successional or transition stages resulting in thresholds in vegetative composition that influence management practices.
This conference focused on four topics. First was identifying the principal pinyon-juniper community associations, defining areas of distribution, and characterizing climatic, biotic, edaphic, and human influences upon community structure. Second were several discussions of resources associated with pinyon-juniper communities. Topic three focused on methodologies and practices available to restore disturbed pinyon-juniper woodlands to natural assemblages of native species. The fourth topic examined the implications of management practices upon community distribution, species composition, and presence of introduced species. Management to sustain diverse pinyon-juniper communities is an important issue. In addition, management of disturbed sites is equally important as weeds continue to invade and spread, fire frequency and damages are increasing, and continued alteration of plant communities limits management options.
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