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12th Biennial Conference of Science and Management on the Colorado Plateau in Flagstaff, Arizona - September 2013

The 12th Biennial Conference of Science and Management on the Colorado Plateau will be held at the Du Bois Center on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff September 16-19, 2013.  This conference, which occurs every other year, is designed to bring managers and researchers together to discuss management needs and current research associated with both the natural and cultural resources of the Colorado Plateau.  This year’s conference theme is Effects of Rapid Climatic, Social, and Technological Changes on the Colorado Plateau.  The Utah State Office of the BLM and the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program have joined together to develop a 2 hour symposium at the conference titled Landscape Level Management Approach and Rapid Ecoregional Assessments: A Vision and Tools in the Changing Environment of the Colorado Plateau.  We have speakers from the BLM’s Washington Office, Conservation Biology Institute, USGS, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources among others that will discuss the applications associated with the Colorado Plateau Rapid Ecoregional Assessment and will follow up with a session in which all speakers will join together to answer questions. 

Information regarding registration, the agenda, and nearby lodging can be found on the Conference web page. For lodging, please remember to indicate the group codes noted to receive rooms at conference rates shown for each of the hotels.  The cut-off date for reservations at these rates is also shown on the web page and ranges from August 14 to September 1 depending on location.

 Upcoming Activities and Events


April 9-12, 2013 National and Ecoregional Native Plant Materials conference, Santa Fe, NM El Dorado Hotel

Link to NAU conference webpage

National Native Seed Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico - April 2013

The National Native Seed Conference was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico the week of April 8, 2013. This conference, which is being organized by the Native Seed Network, is made possible through the support of the national office of the BLM as well as other agencies and organizations. It brought land management agencies, research organizations, native seed industry, and restoration professionals together to share practical information needed to improve our ability to efficiently and effectively restore our native ecosystems. This, the Second National Native Seed Conference, included over 200 participants from around the country as well as from around the world and was a tremendous success. In the future, we hope to seed this as an annual conference with days devoted to the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program, the Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Program, as well as additional native plant development programs as they become established.

Dedication of BLM’s Native Plant Demonstration Garden at the University of Utah Rio Mesa Center - September 2012

Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program (CPNPP) funded the establishment of a native plant demonstration garden through the University of Utah and their Rio Mesa Center northeast of Moab along the Dolores River. On Sept. 29, BLM Utah State Director, Juan Palma, and University of Utah President, David Pershing, were on hand to dedicate this garden and celebrate the partnership between the BLM and the University. 

The demonstration garden is designed to represent some of the Colorado Plateau’s major ecosystems and will be used to teach students of all ages the importance of native plants and resilient native plant communities for a variety of sustainable values. It is anticipated that university students will be involved in developing interpretive materials for use by grade school and high school students that will be brought to the Rio Mesa Center from nearby communities.

In addition to the demonstration garden, the BLM has funded the development of research (common garden) sites at Rio Mesa. It is the BLM's vision that Rio Mesa will become a collaborative research center where individuals from a variety of universities and agencies will come to conduct studies that will improve our ability to successfully restore native ecosystems. From the identification of native seed from the Colorado Plateau that can be commercially developed, to determining the best methods for ecosystem restoration, the center will provide opportunities for moving the native plant program forward. Included as well, will be research related to the effects of climate change on these native systems and how individual species might respond to these changes over the near- and long-term.

Utah BLM Director, Juan Palma (L) and University of Utah President, David Pershing (R) planting native grasses in the BLM’s native plant demonstration garden at the University’s Rio Mesa Center northeast of Moab. 

Utah BLM Director, Juan Palma (L) and University of Utah President, David Pershing (R)

BLM-UT State Director, Juan Palma (L) and University of Utah President, David Pershing (R) plant native grasses in the BLM’s native plant demonstration garden at the University’s Rio Mesa Center 

Ecological Society of America 97th Annual Meeting: Life on Earth: Preserving, Utilizing, and Sustaining our Ecosystems

The CPNPP sponsored an Organized Oral Session at the 2012 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The following presentations were included in the program and are available for viewing here.

Organized Oral Session OOS-28 – Restoration of Colorado Plateau Ecosystems: Establishing Resilient Communities in the Face of Climate and Land Use Change

B116 Oregon Convention Center

Organized by: T Wood (

Moderator: W. Padgett

Restoration of degraded ecosystems on the arid and semi-arid lands of the Colorado Plateau requires the collaboration of diverse specialists, each with a refined understanding of how his/her research fits into the broader picture of building a highly interacting community that provides a suite of services.

OOS 28 - 1  Baker, B1, R Gillies2, SYS Wang2 and T Wood3, (1) The Nature Conservancy, (2) Utah State University, (3) U.S. Geological Survey. Climatic implications for restoration of ecosystems on the Colorado Plateau under a changing climate.

OOS 28 - 2   Strittholt, J, T Sheehan and B Ward, Conservation Biology Institute. Mapping landscape intactness for BLM rapid ecoregional assessments.

OOS 28 - 4  Wood, T1, M Choo2, T Nakazato2, M E Miller3, (1) U.S. Geological Survey (2) University of Memphis, (3) National Park Service. Population genetic structure in three foundational grassland species: Implications for restoration in Arches and Canyonlands National Park.

OOS 28 - 5 Rowe, CJ1 EA Leger2, (1) USDA Forest Service,(2)University of Nevada, Reno. Evolution meets ecology: Can native grasses evolve in response to cheatgrass invasions?

OOS 28 - 6  Pendleton1, R, B Pendleton1, SE Meyer1 BA Richardson1, TC Esque2, and SG Kitchen1, (1) USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, (2) Geological Survey, Western Ecological Science Center. Ecological dynamics of blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), an iconic landscape dominant.

OOS 28 - 7  DeCrappeo, NM1, MA Bowker2 and VB Chaudhary3, (1) U.S. Geological Survey, Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, (2) us Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, (3) Northern Arizona University. Reducing erosion, ameliorating stress, resisting invasion: Roles for soil organisms in ecological restoration.