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Mary Manning

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Covering 120 million acres across 14 western states and 3 Canadian provinces, sagebrush provides critical habitat for species such as pronghorn, mule deer, and sage-grouse – a species of conservation concern. The future of these and other species is closely tied to the future of sagebrush. Yet this important ecosystem has already been affected by fire, invasive species, land use conversion, and now, climate change. In the western U.S., temperatures are rising and precipitation patterns are changing. However, there is currently a limited ability to anticipate the impacts of climate change on sagebrush. Current methods suffer from a range of weakness that limits the reliability of results. In fact, the current uncertainty...
FY2014Although the future of sage grouse depends on the future of sagebrush, we have limited ability to anticipate impacts of climate change on sagebrush populations. Current efforts to forecast sagebrush habitat typically rely on species distribution models (SDMs), which suffer from a variety of well-known weaknesses. However, by integrating SDMs with complementary research approaches, such as historical data analysis and mechanistic models, we can provide increased confidence in projections of habitat change. Our goal is to forecast the effect of climate change on the distribution and abundance of big sagebrush in order to inform conservation planning, and sage grouse management in particular, across the Intermountain...
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FY2010In addition to regional Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge projects that the Great Basin LCC (GBLCC) supports, GBLCC staff lend technical expertise to a range of projects and have contributed to important regional publications on a range of subjects. These publications range in type from textbooks, to management-oriented science and conservation plans, to scientific papers and have covered subjects like wind erosion following fire, soil microbiota response to drought, plant community resilience to invasive species, and alpine plant communities. In many cases these publications form foundations for scientifically-informed management strategies across the Great Basin.
This report provides a strategic approach developed by a Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies interagency working group for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems, Greater sage-grouse, and Gunnison sage-grouse. It uses information on (1) factors that influence sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive annual grasses and (2) distribution and relative abundance of sage-grouse populations to address persistent ecosystem threats, such as invasive annual grasses and wildfire, and land use and development threats, such as oil and gas development and cropland conversion, to develop effective management strategies. A sage-grouse habitat matrix links relative resilience...
FY2015Persistent ecosystem and anthropogenic disturbances and stressors are threatening sustainability of sagebrush ecosystems in the western US, and managers and policy makers are seeking strategic, holistic approaches for species conservation and ecosystem restoration. Recent research indicates that an understanding of ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive species can be used to prioritize management activities across large landscapes and determine the most appropriate actions at project scales. An interagency WAFWA working group has linked this understanding with breeding habitat probabilities for Greater and Gunnison sage-grouse, and developed a habitat decision matrix for...
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