Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems offers decision support tools

A new handbook is now available to aid wildlife and habitat managers in developing strategies to prioritize where and how to invest in sagebrush steppe ecosystem restoration efforts. The handbook was produced by the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) in collaboration with a team of inter-disciplinary researchers, with funding in part by the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC).

Sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse have been identified as conservation targets by GNLCC partners, and exotic species invasions is a priority landscape stressor. GNLCC supported the SageSTEP efforts to understand changes to sagebrush steppe ecosystems through experimental science and monitoring. 

Part 1 of the handbook describes concepts of ecosystem resilience to disturbances and resistance to annual grass invasions, also pointing the reader to data and knowledge bases that best guide restoration planning.

The authors contend in Part 2 that management decisions aimed at restoring sagebrush steppe habitat must start at the landscape to regional scale because of limited resources to initiate restoration at all locations and some land uses are unlikely to change. Part 2 then describes a decision support process to help guide prioritization of restoration activities in the broad landscape. Part 3 of the handbook—yet to be released—will focus on decisions at the site scale.

Download the Restoration Handbook for Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems with Emphasis on Greater Sage-grouse Habitat: 

The handbook was prepared in cooperation with U.S. Joint Fire Science Program and National Interagency Fire Center, Bureau of Land Management, Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Sagebrush steppe restoration handbook cover