HOSTS: Great Northern, Southern Rockies, and Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
PRESENTER: Jeanne Chambers, US Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station
CO-AUTHORS: Jeffrey L. Beck, Steve Campbell, John Carlson, Thomas J. Christiansen, Karen Clause, Jonathan B. Dinkins, Kevin E. Doherty, Kathleen A. Griffin, Doug Havlina, Ken Henke, Jacob D. Hennig, Lindy Garner, Laurie Kurth, Jeremy D. Maestas, Mary Manning, Kenneth E. Mayer, Brian A. Mealor, Clinton W. McCarthy, Marco Perea, David A. Pyke
Presenters discuss a strategic approach developed by an interagency, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies working group for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems, Gunnison sage-grouse, and greater sage-grouse. The approach uses information on (1) factors that influence sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive plants and (2) distribution and relative abundance of sage-grouse populations to address persistent ecosystem threats, such as nonnative invasive plants and wildfire, and anthropogenic threats, such as oil and gas development and agronomic conversion, and to develop effective management strategies.
A sage-grouse habitat matrix links relative resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems with modeled sage-grouse breeding habitat probabilities to help decision makers assess risks and determine appropriate management strategies at both landscape and site scales. Focal areas for management are assessed by overlaying matrix components with greater sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs) and Gunnison sage-grouse critical habitat and linkages, breeding bird concentration areas, and specific habitat threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of focal areas for management and the most appropriate management actions.