Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative
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Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) for Central Great Basin & Range has been released
Central Great Basin & Range REA Challenges & Opportunities Report Work Group will kick off in early December. The Great Basin LCC has been asked to take leadership role in reviewing and developing Challenges and Opportunities Report that will help identify larger landscape conservation issues and potential solutions that require collaboration across jurisdictions to achieve. The BLM is also looking to the LCC’s work to help serve as a model for future REA Challenges and Opportunities reports. To support this effort the Great Basin LCC acquired a GIS specialist to assist with the REA review.
We have engaged the Great Basin Research and Management Partnerships and the Great Basin Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit at the University of Nevada, Reno in assisting us with composing and identifying team members. We asked for and identified BLM field level staff to participate on the team. We hired a professional facilitator to carry out the process. In coordination with the BLM Washington office we identified the following theme areas: Hydrologic function, Biotic Integrity, Soil and site stability, Air Quality, Landscape metrics, Priority Habitat, Social and Other and the working group will be divided into teams to review each of these themes and develop recommendations for the report.
New National LCC website
A new website has been launched for the LCC Network to share LCC accomplishments and showcase the range of work carried out cross the LCC network. The website is a great resource to keep up to date with funding opportunities, research and events going on in the network. Go to http://www.lccnetwork.org to see more!
Check out the Climate Dashboard
The Great Basin Weather and Climate Dashboard helps stakeholders locate the weather and climate information they need to make decisions related to the current drought in the Great Basin. The Dashboard is a joint effort amongst the Western Regional Climate Center, California and Nevada Applications Program, the USDA Farm Service Agency and the Great Basin LCC.
GBLCC STEERING COMMITTEE SUPPORTS FIVE PROJECTS FOR FUNDING
On April 4, the Great Basin LCC Steering Committee approved five recommended project proposals for FY2013 science funding (click here for full summary). Approximately $200,000 from the US Fish & Wildlife Service was made available, resulting in the development of a short-term science approach and convening of the Great Basin Science Working Group (SWG). The SWG was responsible for developing a recommendation to the Steering Committee for the allocation of the FY2013 science funding. Over a period of two weeks, the solicitation was broadly disseminated, resulting in 16 project proposals submitted for review and evaluation by the SWG. After applying the evaluation criteria, the SWG recommended a prioritized list of six projects to the Steering Committee.
Upon review and discussion of the SWG recommended proposals, the Steering Committee agreed to support the following five projects. See below for a brief description of each project.
• $48,222 awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Leger, University of Nevada, Reno: “Understanding the causes and consequences of cheatgrass die-offs in the Great Basin.” The project will use satellite imagery to provide information on the size and extent of historic die-offs in the Winnemucca area and determine if the die-offs are restoration opportunities by planting native grasses.
• $44,795 awarded to Dr. Eric Beever, U.S. Geological Survey: “Characterization of montane ecosystems, their microclimates, and wildlife distribution and abundance across the hydrographic Great Basin.” The project will retrieve four years of data from over 200 temperature sensors located on over 100 million acres of the Great Basin to help quantify the variability of climate across varying landscape levels and time periods.
• $38,855 awarded to Dr. Elisabeth Ammon, Great Basin Bird Observatory: “Evaluating species management guidance and monitoring programs for the Great Basin.” The project will provide an online, open source document that summarizes the current knowledge on the value of different species management practices, important gaps in knowledge about priority species and current status of monitoring coverage.
• $35,000 awarded to Dr. Bryce Richardson, USDA Forest Service: “Development of tools and technology to improve the success and planning of big sagebrush ecosystems.” The project creates a knowledge base and tools to assist resource managers by informing them of the most appropriate seed sources to plant to enhance the success of restoration under current and future climates.
• $31,356 awarded to Dr. Matt Germino, U.S. Geological Survey: “Effects of genotype and management treatments of native and invasive herbs on success of sagebrush restoration.” The research will evaluate how initial establishment of sagebrush is influenced by management treatments and to determine how the effects are varied under different climate conditions.
The SWG work was guided through this short-term recommendation process by the mission, goals and objectives of the Great Basin LCC and short-term guiding principles for funding allocation. Click here for the news release: Five Projects Funded to Increase Understanding of the Great Basin (04-26-13)