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Potential Research Questions Related to Management Issues


McInnis Canyons NCA

Potential Research Questions Related to Management Issues

Priority KeysHighMediumLow
Cross-cuttingFauna and FloraWhere are sensitive, threatened and endangered plant and animal species populations found
How can management decisions affect populations of sensitive, threatened and endangeres plant and animal species?
Climate ChangeWhat are meaningful indicators of climate change that can be monitored at the field office level? 
How can our seed mixes and plantings be developed with climate change in mind?
What are management strategies, either general or specific to a particular resource, to cope with climate change?
What are the predicted/realized effects of climate change on the resources of MCNCA? 
Restoration/Land Health What are the best treatments and/or restoration practices to move lands toward meeting Land Health Standards, specifically salt desert and sagebrush systems?
Which past restoration efforts have been successful and which have not?
What are the factors that contributed to successful projects? Can we replicate our successes in restoration?
Vegetation and Invasive/Noxious WeedsRiparianWhat are appropriate restoration methods after riparian weed (e.g. tamarisk, Russian knapweed) removal?
What are effective and efficient methods for riparian monitoring?
What monitoring technique best measures recreational impacts to riparian areas?
CheatgrassWhat are the effects of bioligical controls for cheatgrass?
What native species can compete with cheatgrass, especially after fire, and under what circumstances (precipitation, time of seeding, mix of species, etc.)?
How are ecosystem process affected by cheatgrass invasion including; insect and animal diversity and abundance, soil nutrient cycling, soil crust abundance, and soil microbial communities?
Invasive speciesWhat are the effects and management concerns with new invasive species, e.g. jointed goatgrass, musk thistle?
How is climate change likely to affect current invasive species and what are management actions that can mitigate these effects?
How is climate change likely to influence new invasions and what are management actions that can mitigate these effects?
Fire/native seedsWhen is seeding after fire necessary and when is it not? 
What are fire return intervals for ponderosa pine communities?
What are viable pollinator species that can be included in seed mixes and what is their success?
Which past wildfire restoration efforts and prescribed fires have been successful and which have not? 
What are the factors that contributed to successful projects? Can we replicate our successes?
WildlifeHabitatWhat is an effective and efficient way to monitor wildlife habitat?
Can birds serve as an indicator of the general health of MCNCA habitats?
Gunnison sage grouseWhat are effective ways to restore Gunnison Sage grouse habitat?
What are obstacles to increasing use of Gunnison sage grouse habitat in MCNCA?
AmphibiansWhere are important areas for amphibian reproduction?
Which areas are most susceptible to declines due to drought?
What management actions can mitigate climate change effects for amphibians?
What are the habitat requirments for sensitive reptile species?
Prairie dogsInventory of prairie dog towns. Are towns declining, increasing, or stable?
Burrowing OwlsWhere are populations of burrowing owls and are populations stable?
BatsWhat are appropriate monitoring protocols for early detection of white-nosed syndrome?
What are other stressors and trends in these bat populations?
Yellow billed cuckooAre Yellow billed cuckoos present in MCNCA?
Is yellow billed cuckoo habitat within MCNCA sufficient to support yellow billed cuckoo?
PollinatorsWhat is the best method for increasing pollinator friendly plant species in our restoraiton projects? (e.g. container plantings, seedings, etc)
What common plants are ‘pollinator friendly’ and are they included in common seed mixes?
What are appropriate long term monitoring strategies for pollinators within MCNCA?
Socio-Cultural HeritageSocio-culturalAre any cultural landscapes present in the MCNCA?
Where are important areas fo archeological excavation?
What are the locations of past Ute trails?
What is the ethno-history of the MCNCA area including but not limited to Native Americans and early settlers/homesteaders?
What can pack rat middens in MCNCA tell us about historical vegetation and ecosystem conditions during certain time periods, and can we see any correlations to patterns of prehistoric and historic land use?
What are areas with resources (plants, minerals, etc) that are important to tribes today?
What are potential gains, and how can these gains be quantified, from further prospecting and excavation at certain areas including: Mygatt-Moore quarry, Fruita Paleontological Area, and cliffs and fall blocks in canyon areas?
PaleontologyPaleontologyHow can paleontology research efforts over potentially large geographic areas be prioritized to concentrate limited resources in areas most likely to produce scientifically significant results?
How are the targeted beneficial outcomes for users, households/communities, the economy, and the environment, which are identified in the MCNCA plan, realized and how do we measure our success in meeting these outcomes? 
RecreationRecreationWhat are the negative outcomes of recreational use of MCNCA and how can we analyze, both qualitatively and quantitatively, these outcomes to be avoided?
How do we engage essential services providers and other non-participants in a way that informs management of desired outcomes of affected communities? Key service providers and non-participants have been identified.
Range ConservationRange ConservationWhat is the most effective and efficient way to adequately monitor range resouces?
How can 'legacy data' be incorporated into current management decisions and monitoring programs?
What are apppropriate techniques to restore streams that have been identified as 'Functioning at risk' or 'Not Functioning'? Are the waters of these areas meeting water quality standards? If not why? 
HydrologyHydrologyWhat are apppropriate techniques to restore streams that have been identified as 'Functioning at risk' or 'Not Functioning'? Are the waters of these areas meeting water quality standards? If not why?
How has or will past, present and future water use affect the hydrology in the MCNCA? What would be an appropriate instream flow? 
SoilsSoilsAre there measurable and significant differences in soil properties in native and non-native plant communities?
 Are there significant differences in soil function in areas with non-native vegetation?
 What are the impacts from multiple uses, for example OHV use, livestock grazing, mountain biking, and other surface-disturbing uses,on Mancos shale soils? Specifically what are impacts to sediment, selenium, and salinity production? How can these be mitigated?
What are the contributions to soil erosion, salt and selenium loading, sedimentation and dust from OHV use, livestock grazing,mountain biking, and other surface-disturbing uses? How can these be mitigated?