Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research
2013 Annual Report
This report documents the progress being made by the interagency team that was formed to develop new Ecological Site Descriptions for Nevada and provide training on use of this material for effective natural management decisions. Project was initiated in FY 2012 and is closely aligned with Project Number: 5370-11220-006-20S. Six meetings have been held with Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and University of Nevada, Reno, (UNR) scientific partners to design the project. In addition, the team hosted a workshop for 60 federal employees with the Society for Range Management to train agency staff in the use and development of Ecological Site Descriptions. NRCS, BLM, and University partners are currently developing new State and Transition models for sagebrush-dominated systems within Nevada using a Disturbance Response Group (DRG) approach. The DRG approach aggregates similar Ecological Sites that will respond to a disturbance, such as fire, into functional State and Transition models making post fire emergency management decisions more efficient than developing individual response plans by Ecological Sites. Field work has been initiated on 59 preliminary Ecological Site Descriptions for Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) 28A and 28B. Currently, MLRA 28 A and B have 40 DRGs, encompassing 198 ecological sites. A total of 59 different ecological sites were visited during 2012, with many receiving multiple visits. Of those 59 ecological sites, 21 were modal sites for different DRGs and state and transition models have been initiated. Meetings are scheduled for this fall to review current work and plans for 2014 field season.
This agreement was established in support of objective 2 and sub-objective 2.1 of the in-house project, the goals being to devise management guidelines, technologies, and practices for conserving and restoring Great Basin rangelands. More specifically 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.