Landscape Analysis

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State-and-transition simulation modeling in real life: A 3-part webinar series

Webinar registration.

This 3-part modeling miniseries, takes a wide-ranging look at State-and-Transition-Simulation-Models (STSMs) and use the LANDFIRE BpS models as a launching point for inquiry about ecosystem change over time. We will communicate practical ways to use STSM in real-life research, management and academia. There will be 15-20 min at the end of each section for Q & A.

June 2 – Part 1: Kori Blankenship (LANDFIRE Fire Ecologist) will discuss the basics of (STSMs), introduce the LANDFIRE BpS models and share resources for both novice and intermediate state-and-transition modelers.

June 9 – Part 2: Leonardo Frid (Systems Ecologist at Apex Resource Management Solutions) will showcase real-life STSM applications with the ST-Sim package for SyncroSim, demonstrate how to use both the Graphical User Interface and rsyncrosim R package and discuss different approaches for applying state and transition modeling tools in real-life management scenarios.

June 16 – Part 3: Randy Swaty (LANDFIRE Ecologist) & Dr. Priscilla Nyamai (Asst. Professor, Grand Valley State Univ.) will discuss how integrating STSMs in the classroom can be useful for conceptualizing ecosystem changes.

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Future of landscape conservation: Investments in biodiversity, climate, and cultural conservation

Registration link.

Description: The Network for Landscape Conservation is pleased to be partnering with the California Landscape Stewardship Network to host a virtual policy forum to highlight needed investments in science and collaborative processes to meet contemporary biodiversity, climate and culture conservation goals. Investments in science and networks for biodiversity, climate, & cultural conservation goals: Collaborative landscape conservation and stewardship is increasingly important as our country faces emerging challenges to address climate change, protect and restore biodiversity, create a more just and inclusive conservation paradigm, conserve working lands, and rebuild our economy. The purpose of this national forum is to convene leadership with diverse perspectives in a strategic conversation on the capacities and policies needed to develop and apply landscape scale science and planning. This conversation is timely. As the nation grapples with emerging opportunities and approaches to conserve and steward our nation’s lands and waters, it is important to understand how science and local knowledge can inform the ways we steward our nation’s lands and waters, and how to strengthen the role of networks as they foster collaborative decision-making at different scales.

Presenters: Wade Crowfoot, Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency will offer a keynote address and moderate a panel discussion with the following panelists:
Jeff Allenby – Director of Geospatial Technology for the Center for Geospatial Solutions, ‎Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Bray Beltrán – Science Director, Heart of the Rockies Initiative
Leroy Little Bear – Blackfoot researcher and Professor Emeritus, University of Lethbridge, Kainai First Nation
Deb Rocque – Assistant Director of the Science Applications Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Sharing the road: Managers and scientists transforming fire management

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The Nature Conservancy and the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture have long-term goals to reintroduce fire into U.S. ecosystems at ecologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Building on decades of collaborative work, a Master Participating Agreement was signed in March 2017 to increase overall fire management capacity through training and education. In October 2017, The Nature Conservancy hosted a cross-boundary fire training, education, research, and restoration-related event for 2 weeks at Sycan Marsh Preserve in Oregon. Eighty people from 15 organizations applied prescribed fire on over 1,200 acres (490 ha). Managers and scientists participated
in the applied learning and training exercise. The exercise was a success; operational and research objectives were met, as indicated by multiagency, multidisciplinary fire research, and effectiveness monitoring. This paper describes a paradigm shift of fire-adapted, cross-boundary, multiagency landscape-scale restoration. Participants integrated adaptive management and translational ecology so that applied controlled burning incorporated
the most up-to-date scientifically informed management decisions. Scientists worked with practitioners to advance their understanding of the challenges being addressed by managers. The model program has stimulated an exponential increase in landscape scale and ecologically relevant dry forest restoration in eastern Oregon. Collaboration between managers and scientists is foundational in the long-term success of fire-adapted restoration.  Examples of effects of prescribed fire on ecosystem services in the project area, such as increased resilience of trees in drought years, are also provided.

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Trees to Tap: Forest Management and Drinking Water Virtual Conference

Conference webpage.

This virtual conference will review the Trees to Tap Science Review using a mix of science presentations given by the project scientists and management presentations given by forestry and water professionals, regulators and conservationists. Science presentations will give a high-level summary of the Trees to Tap findings in each topic covered. Management presentations will give an overview followed by practical discussion of how to account for the report’s scientific findings in practice.

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Rangeland Analysis Platform: Integrating production and economics into area-wide planning

Webinar recording.

Description: Rangelands produce ecosystem services that not only support biodiversity and wildlife, but also sustain livestock operations and rural economies. Woody encroachment is a threat to rangeland productivity, but its impact is often overlooked due to its slow pace and the positive public perception of trees. The Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) is an innovative online tool that combines current and historical satellite imagery with thousands of on-the-ground vegetation measurements to facilitate an exploration of trends in western vegetation over time. Using RAP’s recently developed remotely sensed products of rangeland production, we quantify the amount of forage lost to woody encroachment across western rangelands over the past three decades. Translating these losses into dollars, we demonstrate how this knowledge can be integrated into area-wide planning to stop further economic loss and prevent wholescale ecosystem transitions.

Presenters: Brady Allred (University of Montana) and Dirac Twidwell (University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

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Maximizing range management effectiveness with PhenoMap

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Timing is everything, especially when it comes to the complex ecological interactions between plants and the environment. For range managers concerned with maintaining the integrity and productivity of rangelands, it is critical to monitor the seasonal development and condition of grasses and other vegetation on which cattle graze. PhenoMap is a new Web-based tool that managers can use to assess the production and location of high quality forage. It uses satellite imagery to address the need for near-real-time information about plant life cycle events over large spatial areas.

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PhenoMap

PhenoMap tool.

PhenoMap is a new Web-based tool that managers can use to assess the production and location of high-quality forage. It uses satellite imagery to address the need for near-real-time information about plant life cycle events over large spatial areas. “This remote sensing tool can help prioritize management of rapidly degrading resources across the landscape, in near real time,” says Nancy Grulke, a PNW research ecologist with the project. “Tracking resource quality from week to week with imagery can not only support management decisions with empirical evidence, but also provide a visual tool for communication with landowners.”

PhenoMap factsheet.

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LANDFIRE – informal office hours

Grab that third cup of coffee and join a LANDFIRE team member (on Zoom) for an informal, back and forth open office hours session. These 1-hr open office hours are designed to provide quick feedback, troubleshoot common LANDFIRE questions, familiarize users with the best (and worst) uses of LANDFIRE data and provide an opportunity for the LANDFIRE user community to get quick help with their LANDFIRE questions.

What can you expect?
First: A LANDFIRE team member will host a short demo or LANDFIRE-themed presentation
Second: At least 40 minutes to dig into your questions (bring your LANDFIRE-related problems, ArcMap projects (they need not be complete), R code (in progress is okay) and we will troubleshoot, brainstorm and investigate them together.

Recording from Jan 28, 2021
Feb 25, 2021
Mar 25, 2021
Apr 29, 2021
May 27, 2021
Jun 24, 2021

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Western Migrations- Wildlife corridors and route viewer

Access Western Migrations Tool

In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey assembled a Corridor Mapping Team to assist western states in mapping bison, elk, moose, mule deer, and pronghorn corridors using existing GPS data. One outcome of the team is this mapping tool, which provides public access to data on migrating ungulates through a unique partnership between participating western states. This tool enables viewing of mapped migration corridors, routes, stopovers and ranges. Choices for base maps include land cover and land management. In addition, users can add their own zipped ArcGIS shapefile to the viewer through the “Add Data” button. Email user questions to: westernmigrations@uwyo.edu.

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Predicting fine-scale forage distribution for ungulate nutrition

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This study showed that all models provided higher predictive accuracy than chance, with an average AUC across the 20 forage species of 0.84 for distal and proximal variables and 0.81 for proximal variables only. This indicated that the addition of distal variables improved model performance. We validated the models using two independent datasets from two regions of Idaho. We found that predicted forage species occurrence was on average within 10% of observed occurrence at both sites. However, predicted occurrences had much less variability between habitat patches than the validation data, implying that the models did not fully capture fine-scale heterogeneity. We suggest that future efforts will benefit from additional fine resolution (i.e., less than 30 m) environmental predictor variables and greater accounting of environmental disturbances (i.e., wildfire, grazing) in the training data. Our approach was novel both in methodology and spatial scale (i.e., resolution and extent). Our models can inform ungulate nutrition by predicting the occurrence of forage species and aide habitat management strategies to improve nutritional quality.

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