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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #433417

Research Project: BLM/ARS Targeted Grazing Demonstration Monitoring Project

Location: Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 2052-13610-013-10-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2017
End Date: Aug 1, 2022

Objective:
A. The objective of this Interagency Agreement (IA) is to fund research and monitoring for Targeted Grazing Demonstration Projects to establish baseline data and efficacy of targeted grazing for managing the risk and extent of wildfire, as described in the Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy (Secretarial Order 3336). Project areas will be selected under Section 7(b) vii of the Order, as developed by the Interagency Targeted Livestock Grazing team. The scope of work will include a project site already selected in Elko, Nevada, and new project sites selected over time. B. Each project will be monitored for a period of at least three years; the first year of monitoring will include pretreatment monitoring, and the following two years, at minimum, will be monitored as targeted grazing treatment years. Additional project monitoring could be conducted beyond three years, as funding allows. C. Additional objectives of this IA include the development of a scientifically-rigorous experimental design and standardized response sampling protocol under which pilot studies from across multiple regions will be conducted; implementation of the experiment design and protocols for a well-distributed subset of pilot studies to evaluate, adjust, and adapt the approach before full-scale implementation; publishing results to this initial subset evaluation to establish the initial scientific foundation to support further work; and promotion and establishment of the mechanisms for full-scale, multi-regional implementation and leveraging of infrastructure for longer-term assessments of the efficacy of targeted grazing for managing risk and extent of wildfire.

Approach:
• Work with BLM/NRCS/USGS leads to identify and prioritize potential sites for conducting pilot studies of targeted grazing. • Ensure these potential sites are well distributed across multiple western regions with a particularly focus on existing or potential greater sage- grouse habitat. • Define an initial set of treatments to evaluate (e.g., livestock species, type, age-class). • Define an initial set of fuel types in which to evaluate (e.g., intact Wyoming big sagebrush associations, crested wheatgrass seeding, cheatgrass/medusa-head monoculture). • Define an experiment design which ensures adequate replication across space and within treatments. • Under this design, randomly select from the pool of potential sites, to populate the design with pilot study locations to be used in the initial evaluation. • Implement targeted grazing using standardized protocols. • Assess fuel response variables using a standardized protocol.