Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater River, WY
BLM/Wyoming
Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater River, Wyoming

Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA)

Status | Location and Setting Management Questions | Conservation Elements | Change Agents | Data, Maps, and Models | Memos and Reports

REA Status 
The BLM entered into an agreement in 2011 with the US Geological Survey to perform the REA analysis.  The Plan of Work will be completed by February of 2013 and the data analysis and final report is due in December of 2013.  The Plan of Work and the Final Report containing the geospatial data analysis will be peer reviewed scientific documents following the USGS peer review and publication standards. See the Memos and Reports section for a list of scheduled tasks and to download the completed documents.   

Location and Setting
The Wyoming Basin Ecoregion encompasses over 33,000,000 acres in five states, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana.  Approximately 54 percent of this acreage is sagebrush steppe.  This ecoregion contains many important wildlife and vegetative habitats and populations.  Among them are:  the greater sage grouse, large, intact sagebrush steppe habitat, mule deer, the range margin populations of whitebark pine and portions of the headwaters of the Colorado, Platte, Missouri and Snake Rivers.  It is also the location of some of the largest natural gas deposits found on public lands in the continental United States and important potential wind energy sites.


States in the Northwestern Plains:
Colorado
Idaho
Montana
Utah
Wyoming
 

Contact: Project Manager
for more information


  Location Map

Wyoming Basin REA Map

Management Questions 
The management questions were finalized in August of 2012.

  • Invasive Non-native Species
  • Terrestrial and aquatic biotic resources
  • Landscape Species 
  • Species of special concern
  • Riparian vegetative communities
  • Relatively large intact areas
  • Areas of development - industrial/agricultural/urban
  • Potential changes in vegetative "biome" composition/distribution
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    Conservation Elements
    Conservation elements are resources of conservation concern within an ecoregion. This REA will assess the current status and forecast the future condition of these conservation elements:

    • Large scale, "Coarse-filter", ecological systems, which represent characteristic vegetation assemblages or "biomes"occurring within the ecoregion (e.g. sagebrush, evergreen forest);
    • Smaller, terrestrial and aquatic species specific, “fine-filters, which represent specific management questions of interest to the BLM managers (e.g. golden eagle, 5 needle pine);

    A full list and description of conservation elements will be included in the Work Plan document.

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    Change Agents
    Change agents are disturbances on the landscape that can influence ecosystem health. They can have natural causes, such as wildfire; human causes, such as energy development; or result from the interaction of both, such as climate change. A key purpose of this REA is to understand the influences of significant, widespread change agents on the natural resources (represented by the conservation elements discussed above) of the Wyoming Basin.
     
    This REA will examine the potential effects of the following change agents. A more complete discussion of change agents is presented in the Task 1 Final Memorandum.

    Change Agents to Be Addressed in the Wyoming Basin REA:

    • Climate Change
    • Development: Industrial, Urban, and Agricultural
    • Invasive Species: Terrestrial and Aquatic
    • Insect Outbreak and Diseases
    • Wildland Fire

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    Data, Maps, and Models
    Geospatial data, maps, and models used in and produced by the Wyoming Basin REA will be made available to the public upon final completion of the assessment. 

    Memos and Reports
    For this REA, there will be two peer reviewed, published documents: 1- the Work Plan and 2- the final report containing the data analyses and findings. As memos and the reports are completed, they can be downloaded through the table below.

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    Wyoming Basin (WYB) REA Memos and Report

     Description

     Document Link

    Management questions, conservation elements, and change agentsInterim Report Completed
    Analytical models and toolsInterim Report Completed
    REA work plan In Progress
    Preliminary findings for review  
    REA report, maps, and supporting documents  
    Wyoming Basin REA BrochureUSGS Brochure