Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment: Work Plan

Product Type: 

Open-file Report

Year: 

2013

Author(s): 

Carr, N.B., S.L. Garman, A. Walters, A. Ray, C.P. Melcher, J.S. Wesner, M.S. O’Donnell, K.R. Sherrill, N.C. Babel, and Z.H. Bowen

Suggested Citation: 

Carr, N.B., S.L. Garman, A. Walters, A. Ray, C.P. Melcher, J.S. Wesner, M.S. O’Donnell, K.R. Sherrill, N.C. Babel, and Z.H. Bowen. 2013. Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment: Work Plan. Open-File Report 2013–1223. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 58 p.

The overall goal of the Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (REAs) being conducted for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is to provide information that supports regional planning and analysis for the management of ecological resources. The REA provides an assessment of baseline ecological conditions, an evaluation of current risks from drivers of ecosystem change, and a predictive capacity for evaluating future risks. The REA also may be used for identifying priority areas for conservation or restoration and for assessing the cumulative effects of a variety of land uses. There are several components of the REAs. Management Questions, developed by the BLM and partners for the ecoregion, identify the information needed for addressing land-management responsibilities. Conservation Elements represent regionally significant aquatic and terrestrial species and communities that are to be conserved and (or) restored. The REA also will evaluate major drivers of ecosystem change (Change Agents) currently affecting or likely to affect the status of Conservation Elements. We selected 8 major biomes and 19 species or species assemblages to be included as Conservation Elements. We will address the four primary Change Agents—development, fire, invasive species, and climate change—required for the REA. The purpose of the work plan for the Wyoming Basin REA is to document the selection process for, and final list of, Management Questions, Conservation Elements, and Change Agents. The work plan also presents the overall assessment framework that will be used to assess the status of Conservation Elements and answer Management Questions.