Project Number: 3064-21660-004-012-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2022
USDA-ARS and its partners at the Santa Lucia Conservancy (SLC) will develop a multiphase approach that includes the development of a set of state and transition models specific to the lands of the Santa Lucia Preserve, collection of soil and vegetation data, analysis and interpretation of grassland/rangeland response to targeting grazing, a training program to ensure tools are used appropriately and evolve as new information emerges and an evaluation of the existing grasslands monitoring program. This approach will enable the assessment of grassland/rangeland conditions and the proper selection of management practices that promote native herbaceous plants, reduce noxious weeds, control non-native vegetation and prevent brush encroachment. This approach will also enable the targeting of priority areas for management and help determine best practices.
ARS investigator will provide expertise and advise related to current knowledge of Ecological Site Descriptions and State and Transition Models to help design a model that evaluates the interacting effects of rest, grazing and fire to reduce the cover of exotic grasses and woody species. ARS investigator will hire a postdoc to help collect data, as well as analyze and interpret those data.