Limits on the time and financial resources available for monitoring efforts, coupled with the complexities of natural resources and stakeholders, are challenges in resource monitoring. To help address these and related challenges, the USGS Monitoring Team (MT) has linked conceptual monitoring specialists with habitat and wildlife biologists to inform and develop creative, scientifically defensible approaches for monitoring the status and trends of populations and habitats across the WLCI region. This collaboration has led to spatially balanced monitoring designs that will make it possible to interpret conditions across the WLCI region and a mechanism for integrating species’ distributions and population responses with land-cover and land-use patterns and dynamics (a focal aspect of our Mechanistic Studies for the WLCI). Improvements to field-sampling, data-aggregation, and analysis approaches are ongoing, and the USGS MT leads are working closely with the Interagency Monitoring Team (IAMT) to better disseminate resource status and trend information and develop collaborative approaches to data collection and analyses. This work helps to address a primary WLCI objective to develop an integrated inventory and monitoring strategy(ies), as well as several additional WLCI management needs: (1) identify key drivers of change, (2) assess the condition and distribution of key wildlife species and habitats, and (3) evaluate wildlife and livestock responses to development.
The IAMT was developed to support the WLCI Executive Committee and the Science Technical Advisory Committee in their efforts to gather information and consult and coordinate with stakeholders about WLCI resource monitoring. The IAMT is composed of a representative from each WLCI partner organization and is currently co-chaired by two USGS scientists who also co-lead the USGS MT. Two important MT roles are to maintain the IAMT and expand its capabilities and information products; in FY2014, this included cooperating with the Executive Committee, Science Technical Advisory Committee, and BLM resource managers to renew data-gathering and data-analysis efforts. We also drafted a publication documenting our efforts to integrate, analyze, and apply habitat and population status and trend information. Future work will include analyses of remotely sensed and field data gathered and compiled by the USGS to better define and elucidate WLCI-wide habitat conditions.
Products Completed in FY2014
- Manier, D.J., Aldridge, C.L., O’Donnell, Michael, and Schell, Spencer, 2014, Human infrastructure and invasive plant occurrence across rangelands of southwestern Wyoming, U.S.A.: Rangeland Ecology and Management, v. 67, no. 2, p. 160-172.
- Geospatial tools for the WLCI Web site at www.wlci.gov/monitoring: a tool for viewing and downloading monitoring data (currently populated by USGS project Sagebrush Map products), and a tool for accessing monitoring contacts (including WLCI Partners) in tabular form.
- Manier, D.J., Anderson, P.J., and Chong, G., Monitoring habitats and wildlife populations in southwestern Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet (draft).
Products Completed in FY2013
- Web-based monitoring geodata portal (in review; will become available in 2014 at www.wlci.gov/monitoring).
- Manier, D.J., Anderson, P.J., Chong, G., and others, (draft) Monitoring Habitats and Wildlife Populations in Southwestern Wyoming. U.S. Geological Survey Circular.
Products Completed in FY2012
- Carr, N.B., and Melcher, C.P., 2013, Wyoming’s aspen islands -- Rest stops for migrating birds: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 2013-xxxx (in prep.).
- Working draft (version 0.3) of the WLCI Interagency Monitoring Database.
Products Completed in FY2011
- Species distribution models for the ten most abundant invasive plant species occurring in a sample of 123 transects distributed across the WLCI area; maps and analytical results will be prepared for publication in 2012.
- Manier, D.J., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Chong, G., Homer, C.G., O’Donnell, M., and Schell, S.J., 2011, Land use and habitat conditions across the southwestern Wyoming sagebrush steppe: Development impacts, management effectiveness, and the distribution of invasive plants: Natural Resources and Environmental Issues, v. 17, no. 1., article 4, at http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol17/iss1/4.
Products Completed in FY2010
- Manier, D.J., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Chong, G., Homer, C.G., O’Donnell, M., and Schell, S., in press, Land use and habitat conditions across the southwestern Wyoming sagebrush steppe -- Development impacts, management effectiveness and the distribution of invasive plants, in Monaco, T.A., Schupp, E.W., Kitchen, S.G., and Pendleton, R.L., compilers, Threats to shrubland ecosystem integrity: Linking research and management, in Wildland Shrub Symposium, 16th, May 18-20, 2010, Proceedings: Logan, Ut., Utah State University Press; and S.J. and the Jessie E. Quinney Natural Resources Research Library, Natural Resources and Environmental Issues, v. 17.
- Interim data products and analyses were developed for presentation to stakeholders.
Products Completed in FY2009
- Compilation and analyses of pilot data representing resources across southwestern Wyoming, including summary statistics, power analyses, and modeling and simulation exercises.
- Preliminary set of monitoring designs based on monitoring objectives and funding levels.
- Preliminary report and outline for future products documenting patterns and statistical relationships described above and a comparison of potential spatial and temporal monitoring designs.