The Human Dimensions of Conserving Working Wet Meadow Habitats in Sage Steppe Landscapes, Proposal

In the past several decades, the West has faced political, social, and ecological changes leading to new, pressing challenges across the landscape (Hansen et al. 2002; Sheridan 2007). Recent growth in exurban and rural populations now places unprecedented pressure on scarce water resources (Hansen et al, 2002). Sustainability of wet meadows, and the biologically rich habitats they provide, is increasingly threatened as demand grows within the current water system.
The long-term sustainability of the sage steppe ecosystem involves conservation across ecological and ownership boundaries. While the health of sagebrush plant communities has justifiably been an initial focus in this endeavor, long-term success will also involve effectively conserving the privately-owned and managed wet meadow habitats within sagebrush landscapes.