04/19/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/19/2019 12:15
WASHINGTON - An inter-agency group of federal researchers has published a guide designed to help resource managers and practitioners prioritize, locate and apply management actions to conserve and restore sagebrush habitat across the West. The guide focuses on sagebrush ecosystems and sagebrush-dependent species, in particular the Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG), which is currently the focus of a range-wide conservation effort by state, federal and community partners working to expand the species' population.
The Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome (Framework) was developed by representatives of the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
'This framework will serve as a key tool to guide collaborative efforts to increase the resilience of sagebrush habitats, as well as their resistance to invasive plants on millions of acres managed by the BLM and other partners,' said BLM Deputy Director Brian Steed. 'We have recently updated our plans for conserving Greater Sage-Grouse habitat to better coordinate federal and state authorities, and this guidance will enable us to further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our collaboration.' Steed also noted the value of the Framework for the BLM's goal of integrating science into the agency's work processes and decision making.
The first part of the Framework, which takes a multi-scale geospatial approach, contains scientific references and links to geospatial datasets. It also includes decision-support tools for prioritizing management areas and identifying effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome.
Part two provides guidance and identifies management considerations to help land managers apply the information from part one to prioritize and plan on-the-ground restoration and mitigation actions that conserve sagebrush ecosystems and associated wildlife while accommodating human activity. It addresses topics including adaptive management and monitoring, wildfire and vegetation, climate adaptation, invasive plants, livestock grazing, wild horses and burros, and other issues. In addition, the Framework links the Department of the Interior's Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy to long-term strategic conservation actions and management strategies that increase ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive annual grasses.
For more information or to download a copy of the document, please visit https://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/publications/science-framework-conservation-and-restoration-sagebrush-biome-linking-department.