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Climate Change


The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of conservation concern, an icon of sage-steppe ecotypes, and a sentinel for ecological integrity of shrub-grassland communities. Researchers are investigating greater sage-grouse genetic variation, population structure, and population connectivity to prioritize the importance of sage-grouse leks. The research from the Genomics Center will allow managers to evaluate how disturbances at individual leks influence the overall connectivity of the breeding network.
By 2013, a spruce beetle outbreak impacted 85% of the mature spruce-fir forests on the Rio Grande National Forest. These spruce-fir forests provided some of the highest quality lynx habitat in the state. The goal of this project is to research the forest structures and compositions that lynx and snowshoe hare depend within landscapes altered by spruce bark beetle outbreak, in relation to increased post-beetle forest management activities from timber salvage.
We are integrating multiple datasets, statistical modeling tools, and simulation approaches to quantify habitat and predict population responses by woodpecker and other wildlife species of conservation concern to natural disturbance (wildfire, bark beetle outbreaks) and forest management activities to inform adaptive management of dry conifer forests.
The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 requires the Forest Service to periodically assess anticipated resource supply and demand conditions of the nation's renewable resources. This project focuses on fresh water demand.
The 2010 Resources Planning Act (RPA) Water Assessment evaluates the vulnerability of the United States water supply to shortage. The RPA Assessment is produced every 10 years in response to the Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. Reports from the 2010 Assessment are now being released.
Optimizing classical biological control through the deployment of environmentally resilient agents may provide a sustainable, cost-effective and selective management option for large scale infestations of fire adapted weeds. Ongoing research is exploring the efficacy of a candidate agent, the stem mining weevil Mecinus heydenii, for biocontrol for invasive toadflax.
Researchers provided estimates of the carbon stored in harvested wood products for all Forest Service Regions using carbon accounting methods developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the 2010 California Forest Project Protocol, and the Forest Carbon Management Framework (ForCaMF).
Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists are investigating how climate change, namely elevated levels of CO2, might impact invasive species and classical biological control of weeds.
The Colorado Plateau and Southern Great Plains continue to experience frequent droughts and high temperatures. On-going research examines whether even drought tolerant junipers may succumb to increased aridity and begin dying at increased rates, which could significantly alter fire regimes.
This project seeks to improve understanding of social vulnerability and adaptive capacity at the community and landscape scales and evaluate collaborative scenario-building exercises as a method for encouraging multi-stakeholder learning and adaptation planning.