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Wildfire and SageSTEP: an inevitable collision

Over the years, other wildfires have burned close to or slightly into other SageSTEP sites. Last year, half of the mechanical plot of the Blue Mountain site also burned in the Steele Fire (46,000 acres burned in total). Over the years, wildfires have burned up to the edge of our Saddle Mountain site (2018 Wahluke Slope and Saddle Mountain Fires), Rock Creek site (2010 Poker Jim Fire), and the Onaqui site (2017 Onaqui Complex Fire). All told, of 20 original SageSTEP sites, 8 of them, or 40%, have experienced wildfire, either within or adjacent to their plots in the 12 years since the project began. This certainly demonstrates the primacy of fire in sagebrush steppe country of the interior west, especially in recent years – but what does it mean for the research?

10 years and counting

​What has SageSTEP learned about sagebrush ecosystems after 10+ yrs of post-treatment monitoring? Find out in this video from the SRM Symposium on Feb. 17, 2021.

SageSTEP Shorts

On a schedule? Watch (fairly) short videos from our scientists explaining the focus of their research, recent results and the big take-aways for managers.

 

10 years post-treatment Fuels Guide

The Fuels Guide for Sagebrush and Pinyon-Juniper Reduction Treatments: 10 years post-treatment, is intended to help land managers better understand the variability in long-term responses of fuel loads and vegetation to woody-plant reduction treatments in the Intermountain West. It pairs photographs of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper treatments with fuel loading and plant height, cover, and density data.

Biocrusts as restoration targets

Across the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin, biocrusts help to increase the ecosystem’s resistance to invasive species, especially in the presence of fire and grazing. Mosses, lichens, and perennial grasses are associated with reduced cover of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.). 

Fuel treatments and fire behavior

Do fuel treatments modify fire behavior in the sagebrush steppe? Little is known about the actual effects of fuel reduction treatments on fire behavior in sagebrush ecosystems.

Using Predictive Modeling Tools to Improve Timing of Seeding Treatments

Using Predictive Modeling Tools to Improve Timing of Seeding Treatments Researchers at BYU used SageSTEP soil moisture and temperature data to develop a tool that predicts germination in the sagebrush steppe and shows how some species are more likely to experience...

A Closer Look: Biological soil crusts as restoration targets in sagebrush steppe and woodland communities

A Closer Look: Biological soil crusts as restoration targets in sagebrush steppe and woodland communities By Lea Condon, Disturbance Ecologist,USGS Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center Across the globe, biological soil crusts – commonly called biocrusts –...

Do fuel treatments modify fire behavior in the sagebrush steppe?

Do fuel treatments modify fire behavior in the sagebrush steppe? By Lisa Ellsworth, Assistant Professor and Rangeland Fire Ecologist, Oregon State University Invasive species, land cover change, altered fire regimes, and a changing climate interact to imperil...

Tree Removal and Grass Response: Linking Vegetation with Available Soil Water

Tree Removal and Grass Response: Linking Vegetation with Available Soil Water By James McIver, Ecologist, Oregon State University This year, SageSTEP researchers are engaged in an effort to compile a number of scientific papers as a special feature in the open-source...

Pinyon jay decline has roots in pinyon-juniper removal

 Pinyon jay decline has roots in pinyon-juniper removal  By Lael Gilbert, SageSTEP Outreach Coordinator Restoration of sagebrush ecosystems through removal of pinyon-juniper woodlands is in full swing across much of the Intermountain West—reclaiming sagebrush where...

Climate Change and the Sagebrush Steppe

Climate change, invasive plants, and fire in the Great Basin Video: Climate change, invasive plants, and fire in the Great Basin. As concerns grow regarding global climate change, so does interest in reducing the carbon emissions. A little-know but useful fix is the...

SageSTEP Shorts

SageSTEP Shorts On a schedule? Watch (fairly) short videos from our scientists explaining the main focus of their research, and the big take-aways for managers. March 2021Dr. Eva Strand gives a short synopsis of her new paper in the Ecosphere special issue: Treatment...

SRM Symposium: What has SageSTEP learned about sagebrush ecosystems after 10+ yrs of post-treatment monitoring?

What has SageSTEP learned about sagebrush ecosystems after 10+ years of post-treatment monitoring The SRM Symposium (February 2021) shared some of what’s been learned after at least 10 years post-treatment. Researchers present findings from conifer-encroached and...

SageSTEP Shorts: Bruce Roundy on the long‐term effects of tree expansion and reduction on soil climate in a semiarid ecosystem

SageSTEP Shorts Feb. 2021Dr. Bruce Roundy gives background on his new paper in the Ecosphere special issue: Long‐term effects of tree expansion and reduction on soil climate in a semiarid ecosystemTime: 12 min.ContactLisa EllsworthProject Co-coordinatorDpt. Fisheries...

SageSTEP Shorts: Beth Newingham on plant functional groups and species contribute to ecological resilience a decade after woodland expansion treatments

SageSTEP Shorts Feb. 2021Dr. Beth Newingham describes her paper in the Ecosphere special issue: Plant functional groups and species contribute to ecological resilience a decade after woodland expansion treatmentsTime: 6 min.ContactLisa EllsworthProject...

SageSTEP Shorts: Eva Strand on treatment longevity and changes in surface fuel loads after pinyon–juniper mastication

SageSTEP Shorts March 2021Dr. Eva Strand gives a short synopsis of her new paper in the Ecosphere special issue: Treatment longevity and changes in surface fuel loads after pinyon–juniper masticationTime: 7 min.ContactLisa EllsworthProject Co-coordinatorDpt. Fisheries...

Fuels Guide for Sagebrush and Pinyon Juniper Reduction Treatments: 10 years post-treatment

Fuels Guide for Sagebrush and Pinyon Juniper Reduction Treatments: 10 years post-treatment By Sam Wozniak, Soil Conservationist,USDA-NRCS The Fuels Guide for Sagebrush and Pinyon-Juniper Reduction Treatments: 10 years post-treatment, is now available for download on...

Wildfire and SageSTEP Research: an inevitable collision

Wildfire and SageSTEP Research: an inevitable collision By Jim McIver In a matter of just hours, the Martin Fire swept down from the Goat Corral Mountains on July 6, 2018 near Winnemucca, Nevada – ballooning by nearly 88,000 acres overnight (figs. 1,2). Over the...

Contact

Lisa Ellsworth
Project Co-coordinator
Dpt. Fisheries & Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR  97330
Email
(541) 737-0008

Beth Newingham
Project Co-coordinator
GB Rangelands Research
USDA Ag. Res. Service
Reno, NV 89512
Email
(775) 784-6057 ext. 233

Lael Gilbert
Outreach Coordinator
Utah State University
5215 Old Main Hill
Logan, Utah 84322-5215
Email
(435) 797-8455

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