If a person were to park on the border of Arizona and Nevada, step out of their vehicle, and start walking east across the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona Strip District, it would be many days, perhaps even weeks, before they reached the other side. The scale of the landscape is nearly incomprehensible. There is little water to be found, and depending on the time of year, temperatures soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
So in this vast corner of Arizona, how are managers implementing projects that can stand up against the mounting challenges of climate change, expanding trees and other woody species, invasive grasses, wildfire, and more?
They’re thinking big. Watershed- and landscape-scale big, to be exact.
“We’re looking at this landscape as a whole and being more strategic, instead of throwing darts at a dartboard,” says Stephanie Grischkowsky, a wildlife biologist with the BLM’s Arizona Strip District.
Grischkowsky and her colleagues are breaking down the challenges they’re faced with on the Arizona Strip and seeing tangible, lasting benefits as a result.