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An infrastructure for Data and Information Management is crucial for WLCI partners to effectively coordinate and maintain information resources, communicate and disseminate information to users on the WLCI Web site, and provide data-management tools for decision-making. The three primary tasks associated with this work are developing and maintaining a Data Management Framework and Clearinghouse for providing, managing, analyzing, and using information assembled or generated for the WLCI, a Science and Conservation Projects Database to access to the descriptive information and locations of (1) "on-the-ground" conservation projects managed by the WLCI CT and (2) science projects being conducted by USGS and other science-agency...
Knowledge of trends over time provides important context for understanding potential effects of human-caused change on wildlife and habitats, and informs additional work on species of interest that is required to understand critical functional uncertainties - including mechanisms by which energy and mineral development affect other resource values (e.g., species, habitats, and water resources) Targeted Monitoring and Research for the WLCI is composed of three major tasks: Long-Term Monitoring, Effectiveness Monitoring, and Mechanistic Wildlife Research. Long-term monitoring efforts are focused on vegetation, soils, and water with the goal of developing an interagency long-term monitoring program by connecting USGS...
Work Accomplished in FY 2009 and Findings Soil samples collected during 2008 were air-dried, disaggregated, and sieved to less than 2 mm. The less-than-2-mm material was crushed to less than150 μm in a ceramic mill and thoroughly mixed to ensure homogeneity prior to analysis by the USGS laboratories for aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), sulfur (S), titanium (Ti), silver (Ag), arsenic (As), barium (Ba), beryllium (Be), bismuth (Bi), cadmium (Cd), cerium (Ce), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), cesium (Cs), copper (Cu), gallium (Ga), mercury (Hg), indium (In), lanthanum (La), lithium (Li), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), niobium (Nb), nickel (Ni), phosphorus (P), lead (Pb),...
Scope and Methods This effort evaluates the effects of future land uses on vegetation and wildlife habitat and is designed to illustrate potential management actions that may minimize land-use impacts. The entire WLCI landscape will be included in a spatially-explicit simulation framework to explore future potential land-use effects and the potential influence of future climatic conditions. Future potential energy development will be simulated along with elements of climate change from climate models to determine potential types and patterns of land cover change. Scenarios of future change will be employed to determine conditions (land uses and patterns) that minimize long-term effects on vegetation conditions and...
Scope and Methods The Greater Green River Basin is home to several endemic plant species and endangered animals, notably sage grouse and pygmy rabbit. The Green River Formation that characterizes much of the basin also hosts thick sequences of organic carbon-rich shale (oil shale), extractable pockets of natural gas, and bedded trona (Na3(CO3)(HCO3)•2H2O), the extractions or minings of which can mobilize elements that could potentially affect ecosystem function and processes in the basin. In an ongoing attempt to develop methods for assessing element mobility in the basin, USGS obtained commercial chemical analyses from XRAL Laboratory, Canada, for use in analyzing major elements with inductively coupled plasma-atomic...
Work Accomplished in FY 2009 and Findings Soil samples collected during 2008 were air-dried, disaggregated, and sieved to less than 2 mm. The less-than-2-mm material was crushed to less than150 μm in a ceramic mill and thoroughly mixed to ensure homogeneity prior to analysis by the USGS laboratories for aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), sulfur (S), titanium (Ti), silver (Ag), arsenic (As), barium (Ba), beryllium (Be), bismuth (Bi), cadmium (Cd), cerium (Ce), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), cesium (Cs), copper (Cu), gallium (Ga), mercury (Hg), indium (In), lanthanum (La), lithium (Li), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), niobium (Nb), nickel (Ni), phosphorus (P), lead (Pb),...
Colorado River compacts, current and projected uses of the river, and Utah's Upper Colorado River Basin projected depletions.
Southwest Wyoming land managers face the challenge of ensuring the persistence of the region’s abundant wildlife and important habitats while providing for development of Nationally important energy and mineral resources. Driven by local and regional leaders, the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) was officially launched in 2007 with support from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The WLCI mission is to implement a long-term, science-based program of assessing, conserving, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats while facilitating responsible energy and other development through local collaboration and partnerships. As the principal agency charged with conducting WLCI science, the U.S. Geological...
Maps and Imagery (including those under development) GIS-based maps to support the development of WLCI conservation goals, objectives, and strategies. USGS Series Reports (published, in review, and under development for publication in FY10) Bowen, Z.H., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Assal, T., Baer, L.A., Bristol, S., Carr, N.B., Chong, G.W., Diffendorfer, J.E., Fedy, B.C., Garman, S.L., Germaine, S., Grauch, R.I., Homer, C., Manier, D., Kauffman, M.J., Latysh, N., Melcher, C.P., Miller, K.A., Montag, J., Nutt, C.J., Potter, C., Sawyer, H., Smith, D.B., Sweat, M.J., and Wilson, A.B., 2009, U.S. Geological Survey Science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2008 Annual Report: U.S. Geological Survey...
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Populations of the endangered razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) in the middle Green River have declined since closure of Flaming Gorge Dam in 1962. The apparent cause for the decline is a lack of successful recruitment. Recruitment failure has been attributed to habitat alteration and competition and predation by exotic fishes on early life stages of razorback sucker. This study was conducted to evaluate two of the potential reproductive bottlenecks that might limit recruitment of razorback sucker in the Green River Drainage; (1) reduced larvae production due to sediment deposition on spawning areas, and (2) reduced survival of larvae or juveniles due to lack of timely access to food-rich backwater and floodplain...
Databases and Sampling Designs/Protocols (including those under development) Publicly accessible (USGS NWISWeb) seasonal real-time groundwater temperature, specific conductance, and computed total-dissolved solids concentrations for 09217000 Green River near Green River, Wyo. Computed total-dissolved solids concentrations for 09258980 Muddy Creek below Young Draw in the southeastern WLCI region. Publicly accessible (USGS NWISWeb) real-time groundwater-level data for well 413850109150601 Rock Springs near Rock Springs, Wyo. (for example, http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wy/nwis/uv/?site_no=413850109150601). Preliminary set of Inventory and Monitoring designs based on monitoring objectives, analyses of pilot data (including...
This report cannot possibly cover all the issues of concern in the Colorado River basin. The basin is vast and diverse geographically, ethnically, and politically. Conflicts over water are part of its history, as water has been the defining resource in the settlement and development of the Colorado River basin. A complex set of laws, a treaty, court decrees, contracts, agreements, regulations and traditions of use have evolved over this past century which have governed water policy and management decisions. Over the last few decades, new social values have emerged in the basin and across the country which reflect an appreciation of the important functions of river systems along with a desire to preserve this natural...
The success of the WLCI is based on strong partnerships among multiple agencies and the coordination and integration of people, ideas, and work. Integration and Coordination activities are critical components of USGS involvement in the WLCI. A full-time USGS scientist, who is a member of the WLCI Coordination Team (CT), works with the WLCI CT to manage WLCI operations, coordinate WLCI teams and committees, and integrate science principles and concepts into WLCI activities to support conservation planning and to ensure that USGS science helps inform on-the-ground management actions and decisions.
Scope and Methods The primary purpose of the IA is to support a multiple-disciplinary assessment of the effects of energy development and other land uses on resources important to WLCI partners. The IA will evaluate the natural, economic, and social context for energy development and other land uses and focus on informing landscape level conservation actions and decisions. An initial intent of the assessment is to identify areas with high conservation and restoration value, and those with high development potential, based on the current landscape. In addition, we extend areas with conservation, restoration, and development potential with future landscape scenarios based on data-informed assumptions of land-use and...
Databases and Sampling Designs/Protocols (including those under development) USGS ScienceBase Catalog (accessed via http://www.wlci.gov/catalog/WLCI/item/search; includes 576 datasets—primarily geospatial—provided by WLCI partners and harvested from data providers); identified data gaps, made recommendations on how to address them, developed guidelines for data integration and support. PostgreSQL database, an object-relational geodatabase system, and an ArcGIS 9.3 map servicer (at https://www.wlci.gov) that enable identification and display of relevant data resources, along with geospatial locations and descriptive information (metadata). GIS-based database of WLCI funded and proposed habitat treatments and WLCI...
Decision-making and evaluation are facilitated by iteratively improving the overall knowledge base as new knowledge is acquired and products completed. The knowledge and products are then used to inform decisions made about habitat projects and other conservation activities and to inform evaluations of overall habitat project effectiveness in meeting WLCI goals.
Scope and Methods Energy exploration and development has progressed steadily over the past few years in the Muddy Creek subbasin, Carbon County, Wyoming. The area includes the Atlantic Rim and Creston energy fields. Gravel roads, drill pads, pipelines, buried powerlines, and both production and injection wells have been constructed in the watershed and more are being considered for permitting. Trace elements, such as selenium, arsenic, and copper, are known to occur in soils and water in the watershed, and in some areas at elevated levels. It is important to understand the geologic controls on the source, transport, and fate of these elements so that informed decisions can be made on how and where development should...
The Colorado River has historically been an abundant source of supply for water users in the United States and Mexico. With growth of demands on this water supply, the time of historical abundance has ended. The previous five years of drought remain manifested in low reservoir levels. The Secretary of the Interior is beginning preparation of first-ever shortage criteria for the reservoir system. These conditions demonstrate the need for a strong scientific foundation in understanding climatic and hydrologic conditions that influence Colorado River water supplies. We know that droughts will inevitably occur in the future – a future made more uncertain by the impacts of climate change and increased hydrologic variability....
Inventory and long-term monitoring is one of four major science thrusts for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative. This work comprises four components: (1) Framework and Indicators for Long-Term Monitoring, which includes developing a framework for landscape-scale, long-term monitoring and identifying robust indicators for monitoring landscape conditions; (2) Remote Sensing for Vegetation Inventory and Monitoring, which entails using multi-scale remote-sensing products for improving estimates of changes in vegetation characteristics; (3) Long-Term Monitoring of Soil Geochemistry, which includes sampling and chemical analysis of soils across the WLCI region to establish a baseline dataset for long-term monitoring;...