Improved Management to Balance Production and Conservation in Great Plains Rangelands
Rangeland Resources Research
Project Number: 5409-21610-001-12
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Apr 01, 2014
End Date: Mar 31, 2019
ARS and the Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association (TBGPEA) are interested in rangeland research to increase ecological and managerial knowledge pertaining to management strategies that balance livestock production and conservation under a variety of climatic conditions at the confluence of the shrub grassland, northern mixed prairie and shortgrass steppe ecosystems in north eastern Wyoming. The primary objective of these cooperative efforts will be to determine the influence of management and conservation practices (both prior and current) on vegetation, soil and wildlife responses for the most widespread ecological sites in this region, with key findings used to enhance science-based decision-support tools (e.g., state-and-transition models).
Multiple remote sensing platforms and ground-based sampling will be used to assess vegetation, soil, wildlife, and livestock responses to grazing management (e.g., adaptive grazing, stocking rates), prescribed fire and wildfire, and restoration of shrub grasslands to determine effectiveness of management and conservation practices for different ecological sites at the Thunder Basin National Grasslands and lands associated with the TBGPEA (Douglas, WY).