2012 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.
This research directly supports objective 2: Devise management guidelines, technologies, and practices for conserving and restoring Great Basin rangelands. Specifically Sub-objective 2.1: Develop an integrated package of ground-based and remote sensing tools to quantify and assess the environmental impact of management decisions and conservation practices at hillslope and landscape scales in woodland, shrub-steppe, and desert ecosystems of the Great Basin.
ARS, BLM, and NRCS developed and implemented a training course on development and use of Ecological Site Descriptions, 60 workshops have been held, and over 350 state and federal agency staff has been trained on use of this new technology through June of 2012. The planning committee is scoping out the possibilities to extend this work through 2015 and have an additional six (6) regional workshops and develop a web based training course to reduce training costs.