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Early Funding Opportunity Notice from JFSP

JFSP funding opportunity notice (FON) for  fiscal year 2022.

Submit your proposals by October 14, 2021 (5 pm MDT) to answer the following FONs:

  • Social and ecological recovery of communities impacted by wildfire
  • Collaborative development of ecosystem mapping products for fire and fuels management
  • Graduate research innovation (GRIN) award
Sagebrush and aspen landscape

Prioritizing restoration areas to conserve multiple sagebrush-associated wildlife species

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To address the challenge of spatial conservation prioritization, we developed the Prioritizing Restoration of Sagebrush Ecosystems Tool (PReSET). This decision support tool utilizes the prioritizr package in program R and an integer linear programming algorithm to select parcels representing both high biodiversity value and high probability of restoration success. We tested PReSET on a sagebrush steppe system within southwestern Wyoming using distributional data for six species with diverse life histories and a spatial layer of predicted sagebrush recovery times to identify restoration targets at both broad and local scales. While the broad-scale portion of our tool outputs can inform policy, the local-scale results can be applied directly to on-the-ground restoration. We identified restoration priority areas with greater precision than existing spatial prioritizations and incorporated range differences among species. We noted tradeoffs, including that restoring for habitat connectivity may require restoration actions in areas with lower probability of success. Future applications of PReSET will draw from emerging datasets, including spatially-varying economic costs of restoration, animal movement data, and additional species, to further improve our ability to target effective sagebrush restoration.

Fire in piyon-juniper

Reversing tree expansion in sagebrush steppe yields population-level benefit for imperiled grouse

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Retrospective sensitivity analysis suggested the dynamics in populations growth rates were driven by increases in juvenile, adult, first nest, and yearling survival in the Treatment relative to the Control. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of targeted conifer removal as a management strategy for conserving sage-grouse populations in sagebrush steppe affected by conifer expansion. Examples of positive, population-level responses to habitat management are exceptionally rare for terrestrial vertebrates, and this study provides promising evidence of active management that can be implemented to aid recovery of an imperiled species and biome.

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