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What are current conditions for important park natural resources? What are the critical data and knowledge gaps? What are some of the factors that are influencing park resource conditions? Natural Resource Condition Assessments (NRCAs) evaluate and report on the above for a subset of important natural resources in national park units (hereafter, parks). Focal study resources and indicators are selected on a park-by-park basis, guided by use of structured resource assessment and reporting frameworks. Considerations include park resource setting and enabling legislation (what are this park's most important natural resources?) and presently available data and expertise (what can be evaluated at this time?). In addition...
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Natural landscapes in the Southwestern United States are changing. In recent decades, rising temperatures and drought have led to drier conditions, contributed to large-scale ecological impacts, and affected many plant and animal species across the region. The current and future trajectory of climate change underscores the need for managers and conservation professionals to understand the impacts of these patterns on natural resources. In this regional assessment of the Southwest Climate Change Initiative, we evaluate changes in annual average temperatures from 1951–2006 across major habitats and large watersheds and compare these changes to the number of species of conservation concern that are found within these...
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ARS scientists publish results of their research projects in many formats. Listed below are the publications from research projects conducted at this location. Clicking on a publication title will take you to more information on the publication. Clicking on the reprint icon will take you to the publication reprint.
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This file represents the final version of an assessment of the extent, condition, and distribution of grassland types in Arizona as indicated by expert interviews and field verification. Coverage includes the state of Arizona, Southwestern portions of the state of New Mexico, and the Northern portion of Sonora, Mexico.
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The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a major component of California's renewable energy planning efforts, will help provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy projects. The DRECP is focused on the desert regions and adjacent lands of seven California counties - Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. It is being prepared through an unprecedented collaborative effort between the California Energy Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also known as the Renewable Energy Action Team....
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Grasslands comprise a small part of the Chihuahuan Desert but are vital to the biological diversity of the ecoregion. Characteristic grasses of the Chihuahuan Desert are tobosa (Pleuraphis mutica) and black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) but other common species include alakali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides), big alkali sacaton (S. wrightii), mesa dropseed (S. flexuosus), blue grama (B. gracilis), sideoats grama (B. curtipendula ), hairy grama (B. hirsuta), slender grama (B. filiformis), chino grama (B. brevista), spruce top grama (B. chondrosioides), bush muhly (Muhlenbergia porteri), several three awns (Aristida spp.), and fluff grass (Dasyochloa pulchela) (Johnson 1974, Dinerstein et al. 2000). Many of the sites discussed...
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Vegetation and land-cover changes are not always directional but follow complex trajectories over space and time, driven by changing anthropogenic and abiotic conditions. We present a multi-observational approach to land-change analysis that addresses the complex geographic and temporal variability of vegetation changes related to climate and land use. Using land-ownership data as a proxy for land-use practices, multitemporal land-cover maps, and repeat photography dating to the late 19th century, we examine changing spatial and temporal distributions of two vegetation types with high conservation value in the southwestern United States: grasslands and riparian vegetation. In contrast to many reported vegetation...
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Sagebrush ecosystems in North America have experienced extensive degradation since European settlement, and continue to further degrade from exotic invasive plants, greater fire frequency, intensive grazing practices, increased oil and gas development, climate change, and other factors. Remote sensing is often identified as a key information source to facilitate broad-area ecosystem-wide characterization, monitoring and analysis, however, approaches that characterize sagebrush with sufficient and accurate local detail across large areas to support ecosystem research and analysis are unavailable. We have developed a new remote sensing sagebrush ecosystem characterization approach for the state of Wyoming, U.S.A....
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Accurate and consistent estimates of shrubland ecosystem components are crucial to a better understanding of ecosystems condition in arid and semiarid lands. We developed an innovative approach by integrating multiple information to quantify shrubland components as continuous field products within the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). The approach consists of five major parts: field sample collection, high-resolution mapping of shrubland components using WorldView-3 imagery and regression tree models, Landsat 8 radiometric balancing and phenological mosaicking, coarse resolution estimate of shrubland components across a large geographic extent using Landsat 8 phenological mosaics and regression tree models, and...
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Accurate and consistent estimates of shrubland ecosystem components are crucial to a better understanding of ecosystems condition in arid and semiarid lands. We developed an innovative approach by integrating multiple information to quantify shrubland components as continuous field products within the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). The approach consists of five major parts: field sample collection, high-resolution mapping of shrubland components using WorldView-3 imagery and regression tree models, Landsat 8 radiometric balancing and phenological mosaicking, coarse resolution estimate of shrubland components across a large geographic extent using Landsat 8 phenological mosaics and regression tree models, and...
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North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any...
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North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any...
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LandScope America—a collaborative project of NatureServe and the National Geographic Society—is a new online resource for the land-protection community and the public. By bringing together maps, data, photos, and stories about America’s natural places and open spaces, our goal is to inform and inspire conservation of our lands and waters.
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The Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP) is an update of the Gap Analysis Program’s mapping and assessment of biodiversity for the five-state region encompassing Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. It is a multi-institutional cooperative effort coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey Gap Analysis Program. The primary objective of the update is to use a coordinated mapping approach to create detailed, seamless GIS maps of land cover, all native terrestrial vertebrate species, land stewardship, and management status, and to analyze this information to identify those biotic elements that are underrepresented on lands managed for their long term conservation or are “gaps.”
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The Central Mojave Vegetation Map (mojveg.e00) displays vegetation and other land cover types in the eastern Mojave of California. Map labels represent alliances and groups of alliances as described by the National Vegetation Classification. The nominal minimum mapping unit is 5 hectares. Each map unit is labeled by a primary land cover type and a secondary type where applicable. In addition, the source of data for labeling each map unit is also identified in the attribute table for each map unit. Data were developed using field visits, 1:32,000 aerial photography, SPOT satellite imagery, and predictive modeling.
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Congress passed the State Wildlife Grants program (SWG) in 2001 in recognition of the need for funding of wildlife diversity programs. Congress mandated each state and territory to develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (now named Wildlife Action Plans) by 2005 in order to continue to receive federal funds through the SWG program. Nevada’s Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) was completed and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2005. Nevada’s WAP has served as a plan of action for state wildlife conservation and funding by targeting the species of greatest conservation need and the key habitats on which they depend. To date, NDOW has received over $11 million in federal dollars through...
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Accurate and consistent estimates of shrubland ecosystem components are crucial to a better understanding of ecosystems condition in arid and semiarid lands. We developed an innovative approach by integrating multiple information to quantify shrubland components as continuous field products within the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). The approach consists of five major parts: field sample collection, high-resolution mapping of shrubland components using WorldView-2 imagery and regression tree models, Landsat 8 radiometric balancing and phenological mosaicking, coarse resolution estimate of shrubland components across a large geographic extent using Landsat 8 phenological mosaics and regression tree models, and...
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Accurate and consistent estimates of shrubland ecosystem components are crucial to a better understanding of ecosystems condition in arid and semiarid lands. We developed an innovative approach by integrating multiple information to quantify shrubland components as continuous field products within the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). The approach consists of five major parts: field sample collection, high-resolution mapping of shrubland components using WorldView-3 imagery and regression tree models, Landsat 8 radiometric balancing and phenological mosaicking, coarse resolution estimate of shrubland components across a large geographic extent using Landsat 8 phenological mosaics and regression tree models, and...
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North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any...


map background search result map search result map Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Quantification Products for Wyoming (shrub height) Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Products for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado (percent bare ground) Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Products for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado (percent herbaceous cover) Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Products for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado (percent litter) Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan LandScope America Central Mojave Vegetation Map Extent and Condition of Grasslands in Arizona, Northern Mexico, and Southwestern New Mexico Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project Natural Resource Condition Assessments Status and Distribution of Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands in the United States and Mexico Managing Changing Landscapes in the Southwestern United States Southwest Watershed Research Publications Historical and Contemporary Geographic Data Reveal Complex Spatial and Temporal Responses of Vegetation to Climate and Land Stewardship Nevada Wildlife Action Plan Shrub Percent - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Great Basin Herbaceous Percent - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Montona/Wyoming Study Area Shrub Percent - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Montona/Wyoming Study Area Bare Ground Percent  - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Montona/Wyoming Study Area Historical and Contemporary Geographic Data Reveal Complex Spatial and Temporal Responses of Vegetation to Climate and Land Stewardship Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Products for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado (percent bare ground) Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Products for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado (percent herbaceous cover) Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Products for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado (percent litter) Central Mojave Vegetation Map Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Extent and Condition of Grasslands in Arizona, Northern Mexico, and Southwestern New Mexico Nevada Wildlife Action Plan Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Quantification Products for Wyoming (shrub height) Managing Changing Landscapes in the Southwestern United States Status and Distribution of Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands in the United States and Mexico Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project Herbaceous Percent - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Montona/Wyoming Study Area Shrub Percent - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Montona/Wyoming Study Area Bare Ground Percent  - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Montona/Wyoming Study Area Shrub Percent - Provisional Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass NLCD Products for the Great Basin LandScope America Southwest Watershed Research Publications Natural Resource Condition Assessments