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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of a Decision-support System for the Ecologically-based Management of Cheatgrass- and Medusahead-infested Rangeland

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Government success in partnerships: The USDA-ARS areawide ecologically-based invasive annual grass management program

Authors
item SMITH, BRENDA
item SHELEY, ROGER

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 2012
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56307
Citation: Smith, B.S., Sheley, R.L. 2012. Government success in partnerships: The USDA-ARS areawide ecologically-based invasive annual grass management program. Rangelands. 34(4):17-24.

Interpretive Summary: Areawide partnership of researchers, educators and ranchers have been implementing an Areawide Pest Management project over the past three years to catalyze the adoption of ecologically-based invasive annual grass management across the western US. The program includes the establishment of watershed-scale demonstrations of the improved strategies, conducting critical gap-filling research, and a comprehensive outreach program linked to the demonstrations. Landscape-scale demonstration areas have been implemented with producers in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and California. Additional research projects are filling in information gaps, with work ongoing on site history, economics, weather and climate forecasting, and seedling establishment. An integral component of the project is an education and outreach program. To advance the use of ecologically-based management, we created an entire decision-making process that guides land managers through a series of assessments and decisions, which lead to an entire invasive plant management plan. This iterative, hands-on process uses state-of-the-art assessment with ecological principles that allows managers to address the underlying causes of invasion and create sustainable plant community trajectories. Managers from most western states are beginning to use the decision-making framework.

Technical Abstract: Areawide partnership of researchers, educators and ranchers have been implementing an Areawide Pest Management project over the past three years to catalyze the adoption of ecologically-based invasive annual grass management across the western US. The program includes the establishment of watershed-scale demonstrations of the improved strategies, conducting critical gap-filling research, and a comprehensive outreach program linked to the demonstrations. Landscape-scale demonstration areas have been implemented with producers in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and California. Additional research projects are filling in information gaps, with work ongoing on site history, economics, weather and climate forecasting, and seedling establishment. An integral component of the project is an education and outreach program. To advance the use of ecologically-based management, we created an entire decision-making process that guides land managers through a series of assessments and decisions, which lead to an entire invasive plant management plan. This iterative, hands-on process uses state-of-the-art assessment with ecological principles that allows managers to address the underlying causes of invasion and create sustainable plant community trajectories. Managers from most western states are beginning to use the decision-making framework.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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