Seedlings growing in a nursery

2021 North American forest and conservation nursery technology webinar series

Webinar registration.

Webinars will be Wednesdays, August 4 through September 8, 2021. Each webinar will last approximately one hour and include a Q&A session.

Planned webinar topics are:

Lessons learned in nursery operations during the pandemic
Water management and its effects on pests, pathogens, and plant growth
Hot planting and fall/summer planting: operational tips and tricks for success
Current programs and resources regarding genetics and assisted migration
Innovative nursery technologies from other industries
Current reforestation pipeline goals and legislation: expected impacts on growers and land managers

Natl Conf On Ecosystem Restoration 2021 logo

National Virtual Conference on Ecosystem Restoration

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NCER is an interdisciplinary conference on large-scale ecosystem restoration presenting state-of-the art science and engineering, planning and policy in a partnership environment. NCER brings together scientists, engineers, policy makers, planners and partners from across the country actively involved in large-scale ecosystem restoration.

NCER 2021 will be conducted on the Zoom virtual platform and will be spread over a two-week period to minimize screen-time fatigue and to allow the maximum number of presentations on restoration science. The program will consist of four plenary sessions, a regional plenary, up to 45 concurrent sessions, posters and two formal poster sessions, and some fun and interactive networking events.

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Using informed plant selection to restore pollinators and songbirds in human-dominated landscapes

Webinar registration.

Webinar is free to Natural Areas Association members, $29 for non-members.

Presenter: Desiree Narango

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Priority species lists to restore desert tortoise and pollinator habitats in Mojave Desert shrublands

Webinar registration.

Webinar is free to Natural Areas Association members, $29 for non-members.

Presenter: Todd C. Esque

Journal article icon

Rapidly quantifying drought impacts to aid reseeding strategies

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Because ecosystems are complex, ecological drought definitions currently are more conceptual than operational (e.g., “an episodic deficit in water availability that drives ecosystems beyond thresholds of vulnerability, impacts ecosystem services, and triggers feedbacks in natural and/or human systems”). Identification of drought and drought characteristics depends on the drought definition and metric being sought.

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The Green Glacier: What is conifer encroachment and why is it bad?

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Extensive research shows us that native conifer trees, primarily juniper and pinyon pine, but also other conifers, have been increasing their footprint on the landscape at an unprecedented rate over the last 150 years or so, especially in places like the Great Basin. This is part of a global phenomenon of trees encroaching into and replacing adjacent grasslands and shrublands.

Some of that change is expansion in the traditional sense, that is, trees moving from higher elevations or fuel-limited sites protected from fire where they historically existed into areas where they never grew before. But much of the change is what we call ‘infill,’ which is what happens after trees colonize and continue to populate previously tree-less landscapes, turning them from sagebrush or grasslands with just a few trees per acre into closed-canopy woodlands – what you might think of as a forest.

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.

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Vegetation dynamics models for natural resource assessment and planning

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This paper describes the ongoing development of a comprehensive set of vegetation reference conditions based on over 900 quantitative vegetation dynamic models and accompanying description documents for terrestrial ecosystems in the USA. These models and description documents, collaboratively developed by more than 800 experts around the country through the interagency LANDFIRE Program, synthesize fundamental ecological information about ecosystem dynamics, structure, composition, and disturbance regimes before European-American settlement. These products establish the first comprehensive national baseline for measuring vegetation change in the USA, providing land managers and policymakers with a tool to support vegetation restoration and fuel management activities at regional to national scales. Users have applied these products to support a variety of land management needs including exploring ecosystem dynamics, assessing current and desired conditions, and simulating the effects of management actions. In an era of rapid ecological change, these products provide land managers with an adaptable tool for understanding ecosystems and predicting possible future conditions.

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Reseeding and flood after wildfire

Webinar registration

Forester Anna Higgins with the Nevada Division of Forestry, Ecologist Mark Freese with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and Project Manager Danae Olson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will discuss reseeding landscapes, and preparing for potential flood after wildfire.

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Nevada Society for Range Management Suggested Reading – Spring 2021

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These abstracts of recent papers on rangeland management in the West were prepared by Charlie Clements, Rangeland Scientist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Reno, NV.

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