Published since 1946
New Sagebrush Restoration Handbook Available
The U.S. Geological Survey, partnering with the U.S. Joint Fire Science Program and National Interagency Fire Center, Bureau of Land Management, Great Northern Landscape Conservation, USGS, and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, released a new restoration handbook for sagebrush-steppe ecosystems on October 26. The new handbook outlines a sagebrush-steppe habitat restoration framework that incorporates landscape ecology principles and information on resistance of sagebrush-steppe to invasive plants and resilience to disturbance. In particular, the handbook emphasizes six core concepts including: the similarities and differences among sagebrush plant communities; plant community resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive plants; soils and ecology to consider for plant species used in restoration; changes to current management practices to support general restoration efforts; landscape restoration with an emphasis on benefiting sage grouse; and ways to monitor restoration effectiveness and implement adaptive management.
"Restoration of an ecosystem is a daunting task that appears insurmountable at first," said David Pyke, USGS ecologist and lead author of the new USGS handbook. "But as with any large undertaking, the key is breaking down the process into the essential components to successfully meet objectives. Within the sagebrush steppe ecosystem, restoration is likely to be most successful with a better understanding of how to prioritize landscapes for effective restoration and to apply principles of ecosystem resilience and resistance in restoration decisions."
The handbook is the first in a planned series of three manuals.