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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Reducing the Impact of Wildfires in North American Deserts

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
ARS, inconcert with the Society for Range Management (SRM), conducted the "Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts" symposium workshop in Reno, NV, December 9-11, 2008. The purpose of this project is to synthesize the knowledge and understanding presented at the symposium of the interactions of wildfire and invasive plants across the arid and semi-arid regions of the United States, and to apply this understanding to developing more effective land managment practices.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The outcome from this project will be a special issue of either Journal of Rangeland and Ecology & Managment or Rangelands where ARS Scienctist will help document and publish current knowledge of how to manage western rangelands degraded by invasive species and reduce the impact of wildfires.

Funds will be used to help publish scientific findings presented at the symposium and associated training material developed for educating land managers that would be offered through the Society of Range Management Center for Professional Educational Development.


3.Progress Report

This project was established in support of Objective 2 of the in-house project: Devise management guidelines, technologies, and practices for conserving and restoring Great Basin rangelands. ARS, in concert with the Society for Range Management (SRM), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), University of Nevada, Reno, and other partners conducted the "Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts" symposium workshop in Reno, Nevada, December 9-11, 2008. The purpose of this project was to coordinate the synthesis of the knowledge and publish the information derived from the workshop so that land managers and agriculture producers would have access to current technology to reduce the impact of wildfires and invasive plants in the arid and semi-arid regions of the United States. The conference was attended by 350 people from across the United States. Results from the conference were published as 6 articles in a special feature of the Journal Rangelands in 2009 (31:2 – 30) by the Society for Range Management. Five additional synthesis papers on impacts of invasive weeds and fire on sustainable western rangelands are being published in the Rangeland Ecology and Management in September 2011. The project hosted a 1 day symposium at the 2011 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting to present successful case studies of managing western rangelands to reduce the threat of wildfires. The partnership developed a series of 3-day workshops offered through the Society for Range Management on how to develop Ecological Site Descriptions that incorporate the latest technologies developed by ARS in monitoring rangeland health and estimating wind and water erosion. The first training session was held in November 2010. The ARS Principal Investigator has bimonthly teleconference with his BLM partner’s to discuss the status of the project. The ARS and BLM partners meet annually to review progress on the project and make adjustments as required to achieve milestones and obtain project goals.


Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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