Research Task: PA0008L.4.1
Task Manager: Cameron Aldridge
Sagebrush-steppe habitats have undergone dramatic changes since European settlement. Today, this ecosystem is considered imperiled and currently is undergoing intense fragmentation and degradation. Sagebrush-dependent species have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) owns and manages approximately 50% of remaining sagebrush habitat and has made it a priority to manage these lands at the landscape scale. To monitor species responses to changes on the landscape and develop sound management plans, the BLM first needs accurate assessments of sagebrush habitats, roads, and energy developments. The goal of this project is to develop statistically rigorous mapping products to assess habitat within the sagebrush ecosystem. These products will be the backbone of future management and planning efforts on BLM lands, and they will assist directly with species and ecosystem assessments, like the BLM-funded Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment. Therefore, task objectives are to (1) accurately assess and map the distribution of roads, trails, and oil and gas infrastructure; (2) develop, assess, and compare remote sensing methodologies that identify and map the cover, height and distribution of various sagebrush species at three specific study sites; and (3) determine the feasibility of applying these techniques to additional BLM Field offices and at much larger landscapes--such as the state of Wyoming.
For more information contact Cameron Aldridge