U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2011 annual report

Product Type: 

Open-file Report

Year: 

2013

Author(s): 

Bowen, Z.H., C.L. Aldridge, P.J. Anderson, T.J. Assal, L.R.H. Biewick, S.W. Blecker, G.K. Boughton, S. Bristol, N.B. Carr, A.D. Chalfoun, G.W. Chong, M.L. Clark, J.E. Diffendorfer, B.C. Fedy, K. Foster, S.L. Garman, S. Germaine, M.G. Hethcoat, J. Holloway, C. Homer, M.J. Kauffman, D. Keinath, N. Latysh, D. Manier, R.R. McDougal, C.P. Melcher, K.A. Miller, J. Montag, E.M. Olexa, C.J. Potter, S. Schell, S.L. Shafer, D.B. Smith, L.L. Stillings, M.J. Sweat, M. Tuttle, and A.B. Wilson

Suggested Citation: 

Bowen, Z.H., C.L. Aldridge, P.J. Anderson, T.J. Assal, L.R.H. Biewick, S.W. Blecker, G.K. Boughton, S. Bristol, N.B. Carr, A.D. Chalfoun, G.W. Chong, M.L. Clark, J.E. Diffendorfer, B.C. Fedy, K. Foster, S.L. Garman, S. Germaine, M.G. Hethcoat, J. Holloway, C. Homer, M.J. Kauffman, D. Keinath, N. Latysh, D. Manier, R.R. McDougal, C.P. Melcher, K.A. Miller, J. Montag, E.M. Olexa, C.J. Potter, S. Schell, S.L. Shafer, D.B. Smith, L.L. Stillings, M.J. Sweat, M. Tuttle, and A.B. Wilson. 2013. U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2011 annual report. Open-file Report 2013–1033. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 145 p.

Executive Summary

This is the fourth annual report on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science and technical assistance activities conducted for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). The WLCI is a partnership of Federal, State, and local agencies seeking to conserve the vast and nationally important natural resources of Southwest Wyoming in the face of rapid land-use changes. The WLCI mission is to implement a long-term, science-based program to assess and enhance the quality and quantity of aquatic and terrestrial habitats in Southwest Wyoming, while facilitating responsible development through local collaboration and partnerships. The USGS is the WLCI partner conducting most of the science and technical assistance activities that lay a foundation for conservation and management activities, whereas the land management partners (Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Fish and Game Department, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and local county commissioners and conservation districts) are implementing the habitat enhancement and restoration projects, conservation actions, and best management practices. In accordance with the WLCI Memorandum of Understanding (see https://my.usgs.gov/Public/WLCI/Bibliography/MOU_July_2008.pdf), the science USGS is conducting for the WLCI includes evaluating the effectiveness of habitat enhancement and restoration projects, assessing current and modeling future ecosystem conditions, and studying the short- to long-term and cumulative effects of land-use changes on target species, focal habitats (sagebrush steppe, aspen, mountain shrublands, riparian, and aquatic communities), and the overall Southwest Wyoming landscape.

The USGS WLCI Science Team has included more than 50 individuals from at least seven disciplines, including biology, geology, geography, hydrology, sociology, remote sensing/geographic information systems (GIS), and data and information management. The USGS also provides a liaison to the WLCI for the crucial work of coordinating WLCI activities and facilitating the integration of science with work conducted by WLCI partners. Tasks entail informing the development of adaptive management, best management practices, and prioritization of habitat projects based on results of USGS science and other studies; integrating existing data with new knowledge and technologies; and disseminating the outcomes of our science to partners and other stakeholders. This report and the three annual reports that preceded it describe the annual accomplishments and findings for each of our current science and technical assistance activities. Here, we highlight some of the results and products of USGS work already available to, or in use by, WLCI partners...