Submitted to: Ecology and Management of Annual Rangelands Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2010
Publication Date: 2/7/2011
Citation: Smith, B.S., Sheley, R.L. 2011. Government success in partnership: the USDA-ARS area-wide ecologically based invasive annual grass management program. 64th Ecology and Management of Annual Rangelands Proceedings, February 6-10, 2011, Billings, Montana. 64:167. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: As new research is conducted and new methods for solving problems are developed, the USDAARS has a program that allocates substantial funding to ensure these improved strategies and techniques are adopted by those who can benefit from them. These programs are called Area-wide demonstrations. A partnership of researchers, educators and ranchers have been implementing an area-wide project over the past 3 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, 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.