Stories From the Field:  Ecosystems

In the 1990s, the BLM began to focus on how to manage ecological systems as a whole – recognizing that humans are part of ecosystems.  


Sagebrush-Steppe Restoration on the Modoc Plateau
By Tim Burke

One of the most distinctive features of this remote area of northeastern California is the ubiquitous western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis).


Thumbnail photo of a man.A Director’s Perspective:  2007-2009
By James L. Caswell

When I became director, my vision was to fundamentally change how the BLM defines its land-use planning areas, selects priority conservation and restoration projects, and refines monitoring protocols to facilitate adaptive management.

Thumbnail photo of a tractor in a burned field.The Sadler Fire:
The 1999 Fire Season and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative

By Helen Hankins, with Tom Warren

After the Sadler Fire, the working relationships the BLM had before 1999 and the bonds we built during that fire season enabled us and all of our partners to meet the challenge of restoring the land.

Thumnail photo of a man's hands holding a plant. Restore New Mexico:  A Model for the Nation
By Jesse Juen

Seven years ago, a program was launched that would change the history of land management in New Mexico and the nation.


Thumbnail photo of a bird.BLM’s Landscape Approach and Ecoregional Asse
By Joe Tague

Since 2006, the BLM has been transitioning to a landscape management approach, recognizing the need to work across jurisdictions and beyond individual projects. 


Thumbnail image of hay bales arranged like dams to prevent erosion and flooding in a channel. Great Basin Restoration Initiative
By Mike Pellant

The Great Basin Restoration Initiative (GBRI) began in 1999 as a result of a catastrophic wildfire season that burned 1.7 million acres of rangelands, mostly in Nevada. 


Thumbnail of a stream channel in Oregon.Ecosystem Thinking Comes to the Public Lands
By Mike Dombeck

In spite of its technical and scientific complexity, ecosystem thinking is founded on a basic concept:  that natural processes and systems are intricately linked over broad expanses of space and time.


Photo of a Northern Spotted Owl in Oregon.  (BLM)The Northwest Forest Plan
By Elaine Zielinski

The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) was the BLM’s first large-scale, multiagency effort that was based on a comprehensive scientific report.