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Western Juniper Management: Assessing Strategies for Improving Greater Sage-grouse Habitat and Rangeland Productivity.

Farzan S, Young DJ, Dedrick AG, Hamilton M, Porse EC, Coates PS, Sampson G - Environ Manage (2015)

Bottom Line: We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method.We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches.Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, University of California, Briggs Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616, USA, sfarzan@ucdavis.edu.

ABSTRACT
Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) range expansion into sagebrush steppe ecosystems has affected both native wildlife and economic livelihoods across western North America. The potential listing of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has spurred a decade of juniper removal efforts, yet limited research has evaluated program effectiveness. We used a multi-objective spatially explicit model to identify optimal juniper removal sites in Northeastern California across weighted goals for ecological (sage-grouse habitat) and economic (cattle forage production) benefits. We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method. We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches. Certain management actions substantially increase achievable benefits, including agency coordination and the use of prescribed burns to remove juniper. Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

No MeSH data available.


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a Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) in Modoc County, CA. Photo credit: Allison G. Dedrick. b A pair of male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Photo credit: Gail Patricelli
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Fig1: a Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) in Modoc County, CA. Photo credit: Allison G. Dedrick. b A pair of male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Photo credit: Gail Patricelli

Mentions: In sagebrush ecosystems, juniper range expansion (Fig. 1a) threatens both native wildlife and agricultural productivity (Miller et al. 2000; Bates 2005; Noson et al. 2006). For example, the conversion of sagebrush steppe to juniper woodland negatively affects greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, Fig. 1b) by reducing sagebrush cover and the associated plants and insects that comprise the birds’ diet (Crawford et al. 2004; Doherty et al. 2008; Baruch-Mordo et al. 2013). In addition, changes in the geographic range and density of juniper can affect forage for cattle. In the Great Plains region, livestock production has dropped by 75 % in areas where the closely related eastern red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana) has encroached into grasslands (Twidwell et al. 2013).Fig. 1


Western Juniper Management: Assessing Strategies for Improving Greater Sage-grouse Habitat and Rangeland Productivity.

Farzan S, Young DJ, Dedrick AG, Hamilton M, Porse EC, Coates PS, Sampson G - Environ Manage (2015)

a Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) in Modoc County, CA. Photo credit: Allison G. Dedrick. b A pair of male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Photo credit: Gail Patricelli
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4527980&req=5

Fig1: a Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) in Modoc County, CA. Photo credit: Allison G. Dedrick. b A pair of male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Photo credit: Gail Patricelli
Mentions: In sagebrush ecosystems, juniper range expansion (Fig. 1a) threatens both native wildlife and agricultural productivity (Miller et al. 2000; Bates 2005; Noson et al. 2006). For example, the conversion of sagebrush steppe to juniper woodland negatively affects greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, Fig. 1b) by reducing sagebrush cover and the associated plants and insects that comprise the birds’ diet (Crawford et al. 2004; Doherty et al. 2008; Baruch-Mordo et al. 2013). In addition, changes in the geographic range and density of juniper can affect forage for cattle. In the Great Plains region, livestock production has dropped by 75 % in areas where the closely related eastern red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana) has encroached into grasslands (Twidwell et al. 2013).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method.We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches.Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, University of California, Briggs Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616, USA, sfarzan@ucdavis.edu.

ABSTRACT
Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) range expansion into sagebrush steppe ecosystems has affected both native wildlife and economic livelihoods across western North America. The potential listing of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has spurred a decade of juniper removal efforts, yet limited research has evaluated program effectiveness. We used a multi-objective spatially explicit model to identify optimal juniper removal sites in Northeastern California across weighted goals for ecological (sage-grouse habitat) and economic (cattle forage production) benefits. We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method. We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches. Certain management actions substantially increase achievable benefits, including agency coordination and the use of prescribed burns to remove juniper. Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus