What is the Resilient Landscapes Resource List?

In planning and implementing conservation across the sagebrush sea, our partners often find themselves lost in a sea of science and resources. To help our partners access the latest science and tools related to sagebrush, wet meadow, and wetland conservation in the Western U.S., we created a one-stop-shop for these key resources. Use this curated (not exhaustive) list to search and sort resources by region, topic, and resource type to find the resources you need.

Find Science Papers and Resources!

Title Author Year Topic Region State Resource Summary Link
Protecting Carbon Stored In Sagebrush Rangelands Intermountain West Joint Venture 2021 Carbon Rangewide Multiple Factsheet Rangelands globally store a large amount of carbon in their soils, contributing to important climate regulation. In this factsheet, we break down threats to stored carbon in sagebrush rangelands and conservation actions that protect this carbon.
Storing Carbon in Sagebrush Rangelands Intermountain West Joint Venture 2021 Carbon Rangewide Multiple Synthesis or Guide The authors synthesized current science on rangeland carbon sequestration to summarize current knowledge, identify opportunities related to the Intermountain West Joint Venture’s programs, and assess the potential for management practices to affect carbon storage.
What can ecological science tell us about opportunities for carbon sequestration on arid rangelands in the United States? Booker et al. 2013 Carbon Rangewide Multiple Research Paper Highlights: Many proposed carbon policies are inconsistent with the ecology of arid rangelands. On arid sites non-equilibrium dynamics mean high uncertainty. Flux to and from soils and plants is low and variable spatially and temporally. Management cannot consistently or predictably sequester additional carbon. Conserving rangelands and soil stocks is a more realistic carbon sequestration approach.
Review of climate change impacts on future carbon stores and management of warm deserts of the United States. Thomey et al. 2014 Carbon Southwest Multiple Research Paper The authors present a brief overview of the wide variety of topics to consider related to the key components of carbon flux, including leaf-level photosynthesis, soil respiration, and plant community productivity across the warm deserts of North America and discuss links with management.
Profitability of Carbon Sequestration in Western Rangelands of the United States Ritten et al. 2012 Carbon Rangewide Multiple Research Paper This paper examines the potential firm-level revenues from voluntary carbon offset programs, such as the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) Rangeland Soil Carbon Offset program.
Carbon sequestration and rangelands: A synthesis of land management and precipitation effects Derner et al. 2007 Carbon Rangewide Multiple Research Paper The authors provide a review of current knowledge on the effects of land management practices (grazing, nitrogen inputs, and restoration) and precipitation on carbon sequestration in rangelands.
Baseline and Projected Future Carbon Storage and Greenhouse-Gas Fluxes in Ecosystems of the Western United States. Zhu et al. 2012 Carbon Rangewide Multiple Research Paper This USGS assessment examined carbon storage, carbon fluxes, and other GHG fluxes in all major terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems in two time periods: baseline (Multiple Topicsly in the first half of the 2010s) and future (projections from baseline to 2050).
Accounting for aboveground carbon storage in shrubland and woodland ecosystems in the Great Basin Fusco et al. 2019 Carbon Great Basin Multiple Research Paper This paper uses a combination of field estimates, remotely sensed data, and existing land cover maps to create a spatially explicit estimate of aboveground carbon storage within the Great Basin.
Climate Change VulnerabilIty and Adaptation in the Intermountain Region USGS 2018 Climate Change Rangewide Multiple Report This report summarizes a state-of-science climate change vulnerability assessment and develop adaptation options for Federal lands.
Integrating Climate Change Considerations into Natural Resource Planning—An Implementation Guide USGS 2020 Climate Change Rangewide Multiple Synthesis or Guide The Climate Adaptation Integration Tool (CAIT) is a novel decision making framework to help resource managers use climate science and local knowledge to identify adaptation strategies appropriate for their specific situations.
Climate Change Impacts on Northwestern and Intermountain United States Rangelands Chambers et al. 2008 Climate Change Rangewide Multiple Research Paper This article summarizes climate change impacts on rangelands in the Northwest and Intermountain West United States.
The Green Glacier: What Is Conifer Encroachment and Why Is It Bad? Sage Grouse Initiative 2021 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet In this SGI Ask an Expert, learn from NRCS sagebrush ecosystem specialist Jeremy Maestas about conifer encroachment. This is a great resource to share with the public or interersted patners to provide science-based information on this topic.
Science You Can Use: Balancing Bird Habitat and Conifer Removal in the Great Basin Rocky Mountain Research Station 2022 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Factsheet This Science You Can Use in 5 MInutes covers research led by Dr. Katherine Zeller on balancing conifer removal treatments for sage-grouse with habitat needs for other bird species. This research provides maps that managers can use to inform work on-the-ground.
Science To Solutions: Wildfire and Cheatgrass: New Science Helps Reduce Threats To Sage Grouse Sage Grouse Initiative 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This Science to Solutions factsheet reviews a new strategy helps land managers reduce impacts from two of the most daunting challenges facing sage grouse: the threat of large-scale wildfires and invasion of exotic annual grasses like cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) that can transform large expanses of sagebrush habitat into nonnative grasslands.
Science To Solutions: Sagebrush Songbirds Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella Sage Grouse Initiative 2016 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This Science to Solutions factsheet reviews research examined whether benefits from sage grouse conservation extend to three species of sagebrush songbirds: Brewer’s sparrow, sagebrush sparrow and sage thrasher.
Science To Solutions: Sagebrush Rangelands Help Maintain Water AvailabilIty Sage Grouse Initiative 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This Science to Solutions factsheet reviews research demonstrating that removing encroaching conifer stands from sagebrush ecosystems can increase late season water retention in western rangelands by holding snow longer in the spring.
Science To Solutions: Conifer Removal Restores Sage Grouse HabItat Sage Grouse Initiative Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This Science to Solutions factsheet reviews key science on how targeted removal of encroaching conifers improves sage-grouse habitat.
Science To Solutions: Conifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success Sage Grouse Initiative 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Oregon Factsheet In this Science to Solutions factsheet, learn how targeted removal of encroachng conifers helps sage-grouse.
Restoration of Sagebrush HabItats Through Conifer Removal Sage Grouse Initiative 2020 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This factsheet uses the latest science to address Frequently Asked Questions about conifer removal.
Conifer Removal in the Sagebrush Steppe Joint Fire Science Program 2015 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This factsheet focuses on the benefits of conifer removal in the Great Basin region.
Conifer Removal BenefIts Sage-grouse, Other Sagebrush Birds, and Rangeland ProductivIty NRCS 2019 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Factsheet This factsheet discusses the benefits of conifer removal for sage grouse, other birds, and rangeland productivity
Science Framework For Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome: Part 2. Management Applications USDA & DOI 2019 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Framework or Strategy The Science Framework Part 2 is intended to facilitate implementation of resource management priorities and use of management strategies that increase ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive annual grasses. The target audience of Part 2 is field managers, resource specialists, and regional and national-level managers.
Horizon to Horizon: Improving Habitat at a Landscape Scale Story Map Intermountain West Joint Venture, WAFWA 2021 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Idaho Other Strong evidence provides guidance for why and how to adapt western North American forests to climate change and future wildfires. A team of leading fire and forest scientists have summarized the consensus in the field on 10 common questions about fuel reduction in seasonally dry, fire-prone forests.
Pinyon Juniper Enroachment Education Project University of Nevada Reno, Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangelands, Working Lands for Wildlife 2022 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Synthesis or Guide This website provides a science-based resource to help people better understand the science and management around woodland encroachment into sagebrush ecosystems.
Pinon and juniper field guide: Asking the right questions to select appropriate management actions Tausch et al. 2009 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Synthesis or Guide This guide provides a set of tools to help field biologists; land managers, including fuels specialists and fire managers; representatives of NGO’s; and private landowners conduct rapid, qualitative field assessments of Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodlands that address a site’s potential, current state, and relation to the surrounding landscape.
A field guide for selecting the most appropriate treatment in sagebrush and pinon-juniper ecosystems in the Great Basin: Evaluating resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses, and predicting vegetation response Miller et al. 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Synthesis or Guide This field guide identifies seven primary components that largely determine resilience to disturbance, as well as resistance to invasive grasses and plant succession following treatment of areas of concern. It can be used as a field guide to help select appropriate treatments in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper ecosystems.
Woody plant encroachment into grasslands leads to accelerated erosion of previously stable organic carbon from dryland soils Puttock et al. 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Southwest New Mexico Research Paper This study addrresses the impacts of conifer encrroachment in two grass-to-woody ecotones in southwestern United States on carbon stored in soils.
Woodland expansion’s influence on belowground carbon and nitrogen in the Great Basin U.S. Rau et al. 2011 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper The authors quantified the relationship between tree cover, belowground soil organic carbon (SOC), and total below ground nitrogen in expansion woodlands at 13 sites in Utah, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Nevada, USA.
What determines the effectiveness of Pinyon-Juniper clearing treatments? Evidence from the remote sensing archive and counter-factual scenarios Fick et al. 2022 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper The authors evaluated the outcomes of 302 PJ reduction treatments on tree, shrub, perennial herbaceous, and annual herbaceous cover for 10 or more years, identifying soil and geomorphic conditions that impacted treatment outcomes.
Understory Cover Responses to Piñon-Juniper Treatments Across Tree Dominance Gradients in the Great Basin. Roundy et al. 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper The authors applied prescribed fire and tree felling to 8-20-ha treatment plots at 11 sites across the Great Basin to assess the impacts of conifer removal treatments on understory vegetation cover.
Targeting conifer removal to create an even playing field for birds in the Great Basin Zeller et al. 2021 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper To investigate impacts of conifer removal treatments on sagebrush- and woodland-obligate bird species, this study used community science data to develop species distribution models for two sagebrush and three pinyon-juniper associated bird species of conservation concern in the Great Basin and simulated habitat gains and losses that would result from total conifer removal in this region.
Special issue: Targeted woodland removal to recover at-risk grouse and their sagebrush-steppe and prairie ecosystems. Miller et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper The authors summarize key findings from a special issue of the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management examining socioecological aspects of woodland expansion and management actions to address this threat in sagebrush and prairie ecosystems.
Soil carbon storage responses to expanding pinyon-juniper populations in southern Utah Neff et al. 2009 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Utah Research Paper This study directly measured C and N stocks and use simple non-steady-state models to quantify the dynamics of soil C accumulation as a result of conifer encroachment in Utah.
Shrub-steppe early succession following juniper cutting and prescribed fire Bates et al. 2011 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Idaho Research Paper This study evaluated partial cutting of encroached woodlands (cutting 25-50% of the trees) to increase surface fuels, followed by prescribed fire treatments in late successional J. occidentalis woodlands of southwest Idaho to assess understory recovery.
Short-term response of sage-grouse nesting to conifer removal in the northern Great Basin. Severson et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Oregon Research Paper Using a before-after-control-impact design, the authors evaluated short-term effects of conifer removal on nesting habitat use by monitoring 262 sage-grouse nests in the northern Great Basin.
Short-Term Effects of Tree Removal on Infiltration, Runoff, and Erosion in Woodland-Encroached Sagebrush Steppe Pierson et al. 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper This study used small-plot scale (0.5 m2) rainfall simulations and measures of vegetation, ground cover, and soils to investigate woodland response to tree removal (prescribed fire and mastication) at two late-succession woodlands.
Saving sage-grouse from the trees: A proactive solution to reducing a key threat to a candidate species. Baruch-Mordo et al. 2013 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Oregon Research Paper The authors mapped conifer stand characteristics using spatial wavelet analysis, and modeled lek activity as a function of conifer-related and additional lek site covariates using random forests. to identify sage-grouse impacts of conifer encroachment.
Sage grouse groceries: Forb response to piñon-juniper treatments. Bates et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper The authors synthesized data across the Great Basin characterizing cover response of perennial and annual forbs that are consumed by sage grouse to mechanical, prescribed fire, and low-disturbance fuel reduction treatments.
Runoff and Erosion After Cutting Western Juniper Pierson et al. 2007 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Oregon Research Paper The authors used rainfall and rill simulation techniques to evaluate infiltration, runoff, and erosion on cut and uncut field treatments 10 years after juniper removal in Oregon.
Restoring big sagebrush after controlling encroaching western juniper with fire: aspect and subspecies effects Davies et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Oregon Research Paper This study evaluated the efficacy of seeding mountain and Wyoming big sagebrush (A. tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young) on north and south aspects after western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis ssp. occidentalis Hook) removal with prescribed burning.
Response of Conifer-Encroached Shrublands in the Great Basin to Prescribed Fire and Mechanical Treatments. Miller et al. 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper To evaluate the Multiple Topics response of understory vegetation to tree canopy removal via fire and mechanical removal in conifer-encroached shrublands, the authors set up a region-wide study that measured treatment-induced changes in understory cover and density at eleven study sites located across four states in the Great Basin.
Regional Context for Balancing Sagebrush- and Woodland-Dependent Songbird Needs with Targeted Pinyon-Juniper Management Tack et al. 2023 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper Given concern for unintended impacts of conifer removal on pinyon-juniper woodland obligate species, the authors used Breeding Bird Survey data to model indices to abundance in relation to multiscale habitat features including landcover, fire, topography, and climate variables for nine songbird species reliant on sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodlands for breeding. Predictive maps allowed them to also examine the overlap of conifer management conducted by the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI), which targets management of early successional conifers among priority sage-grouse habitats, with predicted indices to abundance of songbirds.
Quantifying Pinyon-Juniper Reduction within North America’s Sagebrush Ecosystem. Reinhardt et al. 2020 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper This study mapped reductions in pinyon-juniper cover across the sage-grouse range as a result of management efforts and developed a method for rapidly updating maps of canopy cover.
Pinyon and juniper encroachment into sagebrush ecosystems impacts distribution and survival of greater sage-grouse. Coates et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper The authors employed a novel two-stage Bayesian model to link sage-grouse avoidance across different levels of pinyon-juniper cover to sage-grouse survival across six years and seven subpopulations within the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment on the border of Nevada and California.
Piñon-Juniper Reduction Increases Soil Water Availability of the Resource Growth Pool Roundy et al. 2014 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper The authors measured soil water matric potentials and temperatures on tree, shrub, and interspace microsites to characterize the seasonal soil climate of 13 tree-encroached sites across the Great Basin, addressing the impacts of conifer encroachment on soil water availability.
Optimizing Targeting of Pinyon-Juniper Management for Sagebrush Birds of Conservation Concern While Avoiding Imperiled Pinyon Jay Reinhardt et al. 2023 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper One challenge of conservation is balancing potentially competing habitat requirements of different species. The authors used a systematic conservation planning approach to compute spatial optimizations that prioritize areas for conifer removal across the sage-grouse range while incorporating woodland and sagebrush songbirds into decision making.
Long-Term Successional Trends Following Western Juniper Cutting Williams et al. 2005 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Oregon Research Paper This study assessed vegetatiion successional dynamics spanning 13 years following conifer removal treatments.
Long-Term Effectiveness of Tree Removal to Re-Establish Sagebrush Steppe Vegetation and Associated Spatial Patterns in Surface Conditions and Soil Hydrologic Properties Williams et al. 2020 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper This study evaluated the long-term (13 years post-treatment) effectiveness of prescribed fire and mechanical tree removal to re-establish sagebrush steppe vegetation and associated spatial patterns in ground surface conditions and soil hydrologic properties of two woodland-encroached sites.
Extending Conifer Removal and Landscape Protection Strategies from Sage-grouse to Songbirds, a Range-Wide Assessment Donnelly et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper The authors quantified co-occurrence of songbird abundance with sage-grouse lek distributions using point pattern analyses and evaluated the concurrence of songbird abundance within sage-grouse habitat restoration and landscape protection to assess if conservation efforts targeted at sage-grouse positively affected other sagebrush-obligate songbirds.
Ecological Scale of Bird Community Response to Pinon-Juniper Removal Knick et al. 2017 Conifer Expansion & Removal Great Basin Multiple Research Paper The authors surveyed bird communities before and after prescribed fire or mechanical conifer removal treatments to assess treatment effectiveness in establishing sagebrush bird communities at study sites in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon.
Ecological Effects of Pinyon-Juniper Removal in the Western United States—A Synthesis of Scientific Research, January 2014–March 2021 Shinneman et al. 2023 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide Multiple Research Paper In 2020, the BLM established the Pinyon-Juniper Management Categorical Exclusion (PJCX). To address areas of uncertainty relative to potential ecological effects of the PJCX, the authors conducted a review of the peer-reviewed science literature to better understand the likely responses of vegetation, environmental (for example, soils), and wildlife variables to specific tree removal techniques permitted by the PJCX.
Consequences of pinyon and juniper woodland reduction for wildlife in North America. Bombaci et al. 2016 Conifer Expansion & Removal Rangewide