Webinar: Using resilience and resistance concepts to manage threats to sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse

Event Type: 
GNLCC Webinar
Date and Time: 
Apr 29, 2016 12:30 pm MDT

Hosts: Great Northern, Southern Rockies, and Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

Presenter: Jeanne Chambers, US Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station
Co-authors: Jeffrey L. Beck, Steve Campbell, John Carlson, Thomas J. Christiansen, Karen Clause, Jonathan B. Dinkins, Kevin E. Doherty, Kathleen A. Griffin, Doug Havlina, Ken Henke, Jacob D. Hennig, Lindy Garner, Laurie Kurth, Jeremy D. Maestas, Mary Manning, Kenneth E. Mayer, Brian A. Mealor, Clinton W. McCarthy, Marco Perea, David A. Pyke

We discuss a strategic approach developed by an interagency, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies working group for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems, Gunnison sage-grouse, and greater sage-grouse. It uses information on (1) factors that influence sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive plants and (2) distribution and relative abundance of sage-grouse populations to address persistent ecosystem threats, such as nonnative invasive plants and wildfire, and anthropogenic threats, such as oil and gas development and agronomic conversion, and to develop effective management strategies.

A sage-grouse habitat matrix links relative resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems with modeled sage-grouse breeding habitat probabilities to help decision makers assess risks and determine appropriate management strategies at both landscape and site scales. Focal areas for management are assessed by overlaying matrix components with greater sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs) and Gunnison sage-grouse critical habitat and linkages, breeding bird concentration areas, and specific habitat threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of focal areas for management and the most appropriate management actions.

About the presenter: Jeanne Chambers is a research ecologist with the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station located in Reno, NV and an adjunct professor in the Natural Resources and Environmental Science Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on understanding the effects of global change processes, altered disturbance regimes, and invasive species on arid and semi-arid ecosystems and developing effective conservation and restoration approaches.



Eastern range of sage-grouse – Management Zones I, II and VII