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Rising from ashes: A tribe’s nature-based approach to watershed restoration

Workshop webpage.

Rising from Ashes: A Tribe’s Nature-based Approach to Watershed Restoration will highlight an innovative and iconic case study in public and private collaboration on sovereign tribal lands following a series of catastrophic wildfires. Given the increasing frequency of these fires, there is a vital need to mitigate destruction through preemptive nature-based restoration practices before disaster strikes. By collaborating with federal agencies and other partners to incorporate indigenous knowledge and values into the recovery planning process, the Santa Clara Pueblo is working to achieve long-term, sustainable resiliency of the watershed.

The purpose of this Stewardship in Action Field Workshop is not simply to share what was learned by the Santa Clara Pueblo and their many partners, but also to engage land and water management practitioners from tribal nations, federal and state agencies, and nonprofit organizations from around the continent to share information and leverage success for the benefit of local communities.

The agenda features three days of content featuring both indoor presentations and field experiences. Sessions will explore public and private collaboration on sovereign tribal lands, process-based restoration and watershed resilience, forestry and fire management, sediment stabilization, native plant restoration, indigenous knowledge, nature-based solutions, and preparing for future climate impacts by working together.

Webinar, video, audio icon

Time to restore: Connecting people, plants, and pollinators

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The South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (SC CASC) highlighted one of their funded projects, Time to Restore: Connecting People, Plants, and Pollinators, through the webinar series – The Southern Plains Climate Science Webinar Series.

Watch to learn how this project involves the pollinator restoration community through the entire process to assist them with climate-informed guidance on the timing of nectar plant flowering and seeding. Better knowledge of climate impact on flowering and seed timing for critical nectar plants can inform more resilient restoration plantings.

Jane Breckinridge, the Director of the Tribal Alliance for Pollinators, and Erin Posthumus, the Outreach Coordinator for the USA National Phenology Network and the Principle Investigator of this SC CASC-funded project, will share their perspectives on this project which recently received a second funding award to continue their work.

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Native seeds: Supplying restoration- A nine-part video series

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Native Seeds: Supplying Restoration is a nine-part video series that explores the native seed supply chain in the western United States. Filmed over four seasons, this series weaves together footage of seed collectors, farmers, researchers, and land managers working to scale up the supply of native seeds to meet the growing restoration demand. We see the staggering scale of damage to vast landscapes and meet tenacious people who are finding creative, scrappy solutions to restore ecosystems.

Webinar, video, audio icon

Native seed: Supplying restoration

Webinar recording.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in collaboration with the Society of Ecological Restoration’s International Network for Seed-based Restoration (SER-INSR), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Holden Films, produced a series of educational documentaries that explore each step of the native seed supply chain in one of the largest and most sophisticated native seed markets in the world, the Western United States. Episodes of the nine-part series have been released weekly throughout the summer (June 29 – August 24, 2023) and can be viewed on

In this webinar, representatives from BLM, SER-INSR, TNC, and Holden Films will discuss the production of the video series from both a scientific and cinematographic perspective and share stories of this incredible journey.

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

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National Native Seed Virtual Conference 2024

Conference webpage.

Focus: Native Seed Production & Seed-Based Restoration
The National Native Seed Conference (NNSC) is excited to announce a virtual conference in 2024! The NNSC connects research, industry, land management, and restoration professionals, providing the premier opportunity to develop relationships and share information about the collection, research and development, production, and use of native plant materials.

Our next event will be a virtual conference on February 7-8, 2023. The conference will be held from 8am – 2pm PST/11am – 5pm EST.

Fire burning in mixed deciduous and conifer forest

Idaho and Montana Forest Restoration Partnership’s 8th Annual Meeting

Meeting webpage.

Please mark your calendars for the 2023 8th Annual Montana Forest Collaboration Network Workshop November 2-3 in Missoula at the Hilton Garden Inn. This year, the Workshop is being held jointly with the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership. This year’s theme: Collaborative Investment.

November 2, 2023: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm MDT
November 3, 2023: 8:00 am-Noon MDT

The Workshop Agenda includes a keynote address by the Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

Webinar, video, audio icon

Increasing post-wildfire planted seedling survival: From experimental plantings to reforestation planning

Webinar recording.

This presentation examines how post-fire planting success is influenced by climatic, microclimatic, topographic, and biotic factors. Multiple seedling planting experiments across northern New Mexico were evaluated using seedling monitoring, remote sensing, drone, and microclimate data. The results show tree seedling survival in high severity burn patches is largely determined by microclimatic refugia formed by both topographic variation and existing vegetation. Using machine learning and a new index of seedling survival probability, the most suitable artificial reforestation sites can be mapped for efficient restoration planning. This presentation posits that success rates of reforestation efforts in post-wildfire landscapes could be substantially increased by considering site survivability and suitability.

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Techniques for restoring damaged desert habitats

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We synthesized restoration techniques and their effectiveness in the Mojave and western Sonoran Desert, provide estimated costs of candidate techniques, and anticipate future research needs for effective restoration in changing climates and environments. Over 50 published studies in the Mojave and western Sonoran Desert demonstrate that restoration can improve soil features (e.g., biocrusts), increase cover of native perennial and annual plants, enhance native seed retention and seed banks, and reduce risk of fires to conserve mature shrubland habitat. We placed restoration techniques into three categories: restoration of site environments, revegetation, and management actions to limit further disturbance and encourage recovery. Within these categories, 11 major restoration techniques (and their variations) were evaluated by at least one published study and range from geomorphic (e.g., reestablishing natural topographic patterns) and abiotic structural treatments (e.g., vertical mulching) to active revegetation (e.g., outplanting, seeding).

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Utah low-tech wet meadow restoration: Virtual workshop

Workshop recordings

Wet or mesic meadows are rare but disproportionately important ecosystems in Utah. Gully erosion and channel incision are widespread problems reducing natural resiliency and water storage capacity, which is impacting wildlife and working lands. Simple, low-tech restoration methods developed for dry lands of the desert southwest by Bill Zeedyk provide effective tools for protecting and restoring meadow systems. These techniques are cost-effective and hand-built allowing more people to participate in restoration.

In this one-day virtual workshop, Utah land managers and partners will be introduced to: reading the landscape to recognize meadow conservation opportunities, various low-tech “Zeedyk” structures (e.g., One Rock Dams, Zuni Bowls), project planning, implementation, and monitoring. Regional instructors will share tips and lessons learned from implementing low-tech meadow restoration projects across the West, while Utah conservation partners will discuss local opportunities and considerations.

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Goldilocks forbs: Survival is highest outside—but not too far outside—of Wyoming big sagebrush canopies

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This study investigated survival of transplanted herbaceous seedlings at different distances from Wyoming big sagebrush canopies. We planted two native perennial forb species, Munro’s globemallow and common yarrow, and two native perennial grass species, bluebunch wheatgrass and bottlebrush squirreltail, at four distances from sagebrush canopies at six sites across the Intermountain West, repeated across 2 years. Under above-normal precipitation, proximity to sagebrush influenced first-year survival of the forb, but not grass, species. Globemallow and yarrow survival were highest mid-way between the canopy dripline and maximum interspace distance between neighboring sagebrush plants. Ground cover characteristics and globemallow survival covaried with respect to distance from shrub, suggesting ground cover characteristics as indicators of suitable planting microsites. Under drier conditions, survival of all species was low and unaffected by distance from canopies. Our results demonstrate the value of fine-tuning the canopy-interspace paradigm to more carefully consider how plant performance may differ across zones within the interspace region between plants, especially when the goal is to maximize plant establishment in nondrought years.

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