*July 8 5:00-7:00 p.m.: Harney County Community Center, 478 N Broadway Ave., Burns, OR 9772
*July 9 5:00-7:00 p.m.: Red Lion Boise Hotel, 1800 W Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 8370
*July 11 5:00-7:00 p.m.: BLM Lakeview District Office, 1301 South G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630
An electronic copy of the Draft Programmatic EIS and associated documents is available on the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA register at https://go.usa.gov/xnQcG
. For comments to be considered, they must be received by the BLM no later than midnight MST on August 5, 2019.
through the Sage Grouse Initiative "Sage-Grouse Populations Grow When Conifers Are Removed
" reflects lessons under SGI-researcher Andrew Olsen showing sage grouse populations grew 12% after sustained, targeted, watershed-scale conifer removal efforts.
Olsen and his field team tracked sage grouse across a 109,000-acre restoration site where conifers were removed and across an 82,000-acre control site where no conifers were cut. This scale is unique in sage grouse research to date. Key findings include:
*From 2011-2017, the extent of conifer cover in sagebrush country decreased by 1.6%. *Human management efforts are responsible for 2/3 of the total reduction; the other 1/3 is due to wildfires.
*Previous estimates suggest that conifer cover in sagebrush country is growing by 0.4%-1.5% annually, which means that our efforts are keeping pace with conifer encroachment but that more needs to be done.
*Public/private partnerships are successfully reducing conifers in highly targeted priority watersheds, such as in northwest Utah.
*The maps also show that woodlands are still expanding into many sagebrush landscapes. Continued partnership efforts are needed to strategically conserve priority shrublands.
USGS & USFS
scientists tracked wildfire activity in the Great Basin to study the interplay with invasives in the research paper titled “The Ecological Uncertainty of Wildfire Fuel Breaks: Examples from the Sagebrush Steppe
“ published in Ecological Society of America. Given uncertain outcomes, they examined how implementation of fuel breaks might: (1) directly alter ecosystems; (2) create edge and edge effects; (3) serve as vectors for wildlife movement and plant invasions; (4) fragment otherwise contiguous sagebrush landscapes; and (5) benefit from scientific investigation intended to disentangle their ecological costs and benefits.