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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #287290

Title: Using weather data to improve decision-making

item Hardegree, Stuart
item Schneider, Jeanne
item MOFFET, COREY - Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc
item Boehm, Alex

Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2012
Publication Date: 8/27/2012
Citation: Hardegree, S.P., Schneider, J.M., Moffet, C.A., Boehm, A.R. 2012. Using weather data to improve decision-making. Agricultural Research Service Publication. 18 p.

Interpretive Summary: Weather is the primary driver of rangeland restoration success. Most rangeland restoration plans, however, do not account for potential weather variability and are designed for management activities that are usually limited to a single year after major disturbance such as wildfire. This guidebook was designed to assist land managers in using adaptive management planning to develop long-term, weather-centric management plans. This involves longer-term goal setting, collection and interpretation of site-specific weather data, and active response to partial success to maintain a positive trajectory toward a more desirable rangeland plant community. Restoration-specific weather information and management guidance, including this guidebook, are now available for access through the Ecologically Based Invasive Plant Management website at

Technical Abstract: Weather in the western United States is relatively dry and highly variable. The consequences of this variability can be effectively dealt with through the process of adaptive management which includes contingency planning for partial restoration success or restoration failure in any given year. Pro-active planning for weather variability can anticipating contingencies for weather impacts on seedbed preparation, seeding, weed control, and other management activities. Success and failure must be weighed in the context of weather variability, and monitoring programs must be adjusted to accommodate weather-induced limitations to specific inferences about treatment effectiveness. Weather data is increasingly available and should be utilized whenever possible both in the planning and evaluation stage of Ecologically Based Invasive Plant Management. Links to weather data sources, gridded weather datasets, and other planning and management tools are available from the EBIPM website at This guidebook provides step-by-step information for developing weather-centric adaptive management restoration plans for disturbed rangeland systems.