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Steven T Knick

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The delineation of priority areas in western North America for managing Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a broad-scale experiment in conservation biology. The strategy of limiting spatial disturbance and focusing conservation actions within delineated areas may benefit the greatest proportion of Greater Sage-Grouse. However, land use under normal restrictions outside priority areas potentially limits dispersal and gene flow, which can isolate priority areas and lead to spatially disjunct populations. We used graph theory, representing priority areas as spatially distributed nodes interconnected by movement corridors, to understand the capacity of priority areas to function as connected...
Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act because of population and habitat fragmentation coupled with inadequate regulatory mechanisms to control development in critical areas. In addition to the current threats to habitat, each 1 degree celsius increase due to climate change is expected to result in an additional 87,000 km2 of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) that will be converted to unsuitable habitat for sage-grouse. Thus, the future distribution and composition of sagebrush landscapes is likely to differ greatly from today’s configuration. We conducted a large, multi-objective project to identify: (1) characteristics of habitats required by sage-grouse,...
Proposed work will monitor for five years vegetation, fuels, wildlife, insects, and weather at 10 SageSTEP sites, all of which have been treated to reduce either juniper encroachment (woodland sites) or cheatgrass invasion (sagebrush/cheatgrass sites). Each of the six woodland sites contains an untreated control plot, a ‘cut’ plot where all trees were felled and left on site, and a prescribed burn plot, where fire was used to kill all trees – management objective of the treatments was to reduce tree dominance. Each of the four sagebrush/cheatgrass sites contains an untreated control plot, a mowed plot, a prescribed burn plot, and an herbicide plot, where each treatment was designed to remove 50% of the sagebrush...
This Restoration Handbook consists of three parts with the same main title, “Restoration Handbook for Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems with Emphasis on Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat.” These parts provide an approach for effective implementation of restoration practices in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. The current document summarizes the literature and synthesizes core concepts that are necessary for a practitioner/manager to apply tools to help make landscape and site-specific decisions. Landscape-level decision tools are designed to help managers prioritize resource allocation among multiple potential restoration projects for achieving the greatest benefit at the landscape level. We are examining how restoration of sagebrush...
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