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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISTURBANCE ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION OF GREAT BASIN RANGELAND

Location: Northwest Watershed Management Research

Title: The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP): A test of state-and-transition theory

Authors
item Mciver, James -
item Brunson, Mark -
item Bunting, Steve -
item Chambers, Jeanne -
item Devoe, Nora -
item Doescher, Paul -
item Grace, Jim -
item Johnson, Dale -
item Knick, Steve -
item Miller, Rick -
item Pellant, Mike -
item Pierson, Frederick
item Pyke, David -
item Rollins, Kim -
item Roundy, Bruce -
item Schupp, Eugene -
item Tausch, Robin -
item Turner, David -

Submitted to: Forest Service General Technical Reports
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2010
Publication Date: April 19, 2010
Citation: McIver, J.D., Brunson, M., Bunting, S.C., Chambers, J., Devoe, N., Doescher, P., Grace, J.B., Johnson, D., Knick, S., Miller, R., Pellant, M., Pierson Jr, F.B., Pyke, D., Rollins, K., Roundy, B., Schupp, E., Tausch, R., Turner, D. 2010. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP): A Test of State-and-Transition Theory. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-237. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins. 16 p.

Interpretive Summary: Land managers are currently challenged with the arrest of the conversion of sagebrush steppe communities into pinyon-juniper woodlands and cheatgrass and with restoration of historic sagebrush steppe through applications of treatments such as prescribed fire, mowing, chaining, cutting, masticating, and/or herbicide application. Currently, scientific data required to evaluate existing states and transitions and appropriate land management treatments are lacking. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) presents as design to collect the necessary data to develop state and transition models for the management of sagebrush steppe ecosystems and to evaluate the human aspects (sociopolitical and economic) of sagebrush steppe management. This publication demonstrates the utility of state and transition modeling within the SageSTEP context for multidisciplinary management

Technical Abstract: The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) is a comprehensive, integrated, long-term study that evaluates the ecological effects of fire and fire surrogate treatments designed to reduce fuel and to restore sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities of the Great Basin and surrounding areas. SageSTEP has several features that make it ideal for testing hypotheses from state-and-transition theory: it is long-term, experimental, multisite, and multivariate, and treatments are applied across condition gradients, allowing for potential identification of biotic thresholds. The project will determine the conditions under which sagebrush steppe ecological communities recover on their own following fuel treatment versus the communities crossing ecological thresholds, which requires expensive active restoration.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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