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    Author(s): Stephen C. Bunting; James L. Kingery; Miles A. Hemstrom; Michael A. Schroeder; Rebecca A. Gravenmier; Wendel J. Hann
    Date: 2002
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-553. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 71 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (6.0 MB)


    A workshop was held to address specific questions related to altered rangeland ecosystems within the interior Columbia basin. Focus was primarily on public lands administered by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Altered ecosystems were considered to be those where human induced or natural disturbances are of sufficient magnitude to affect ecosystem processes, causing long-term loss or displacement of native community types and loss of productivity, making it difficult or impossible to restore these ecosystems to historical conditions. Seventeen rangeland potential vegetation types (PVT) were identified by the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project and briefly described. Reasons that rangeland ecosystems are altered include presence of invasive species, uncharacteristic grazing effects, climatic change, change in fire regime, and other factors related to human presence. However, primary causes of alteration and restoration potential differ among PVTs. Some altered rangeland ecosystems may be restored by stabilizing ecosystem processes, restoring native plant communities, reducing the spread of invasive species, or conserving existing biota. In some altered conditions, these options have a relatively high probability of success over the short term with low to moderate cost at the site scale. However, in other altered areas, restoration options are expensive, have a low probability of success, and require long timeframes. Restoration of rangeland PVTs is also necessary for the survival of some animal species whose populations are in decline such as the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and greater sage grouse.

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    Bunting, Stephen C.; Kingery, James L.; Hemstrom, Miles A.; Schroeder, Michael A.; Gravenmier, Rebecca A.; Hann, Wendel J. 2002. Altered rangeland ecosystems in the interior Columbia basin. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-553. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 71 p.


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    Altered rangelands, Columbia sharp-tailed grouse, greater sage grouse, restoration, potential vegetation types, rangeland ecosystems

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