Webinar: Sage-grouse habitat and post-wildfire restoration in the Great Basin
Time: 1pm Mountain
This is the final webinar in the Sagebrush Ecology and Conservation series offered by the Sage Steppe Partner Forum. The forum aims to share knowledge around Greater Sage-grouse, sagebrush habitat, and management across the species's historic range. Sponsors of the webinar series are the Great Northern, Southern Rockies, Plains and Prairie Potholes, and Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.
Presenter: Robert Arkle, US Geological Survey
Description: A recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For the Greater Sage-grouse, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of occupancy throughout the Great Basin. We used these models to better understand habitat associations and to assess whether post-wildfire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) treatments result in habitat likely to be used by sage-grouse. We also compared conditions on ESR plots to published sage-grouse habitat guidelines. Although ESR treatments are not sage-grouse specific restoration projects, wildfires burn nearly 5 million acres annually in the Great Basin and ESR treated lands cover 12% of the region. Thus, it is important to know whether these treatments provide an ancillary benefit for the species. We will discuss our findings, which are to be published in the open-access journal Ecosphere.