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NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT IN THE WEST

Nonnatives, Invasives, Weeds

Nonnatives, Invasives, Weeds

May 6, 2020

Plants as stories of human meddling

The Wyoming census for the plant kingdom is out! Over 2,900 different kinds of vascular plants grow in the wild in Wyoming according to experts at UW’s Rocky Mountain Herbarium. They include more than 2,500 native species along with 372 nonnative ones as of 2018.

Cheatgrass on Fire

Cheatgrass on Fire

May 6, 2020

The race to save an ecosystem

Locals speculate that Nevada’s largest fire may have started with a Fourth of July firework launched in a canyon. But no one really knows. The 2018 Martin Fire seemed small and innocuous, until a weather cell moved into northern Nevada.

When Natives Persist

When Natives Persist

May 6, 2020

One researcher examines how native plants can compete with invasives

In the spring of 2019 Elizabeth Leger drove out from her botany lab at the University of Nevada, Reno to her field site on the western edge of the 435,000 acres burned in the Martin Fire.

Herbicides in Wildlands

Herbicides in Wildlands

May 6, 2020

What do we really know about their effects?

As Cara Nelson, a researcher and professor of ecosystem science and restoration at the University of Montana, hiked around Missoula’s foothills, she noticed abundant knapweed and cheatgrass growing amidst native bunchgrasses and wildflowers.

Early Detection and Rapid Response

Early Detection and Rapid Response

May 6, 2020

Can a highly coordinated team of experts and weed managers stop a new invasive species?

For many westerners, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is the exemplar invasive weed, well known for thriving in sagebrush landscapes where it crowds out native plants, fuels a devastating fire regime, and threatens wildlife and livestock grazing.

Fighting Phragmites

Fighting Phragmites

May 6, 2020

Systematic landscape planning software improves the odds against a despised invasive reed

It’s a hot, sunny day in early April, and I’m out collecting GPS coordinates for stands of wetland vegetation in the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

The Toadflax Needle in the Wilderness Haystack

The Toadflax Needle in the Wilderness Haystack

May 6, 2020

Using technology to detect and map new invasive species arrivals

The Noxious Weed

Since dalmatian toadflax was introduced in Wyoming, it has checked off all the boxes of an invasive species—it outcompetes native vegetation, reduces biodiversity, and is not palatable for wildlife or livestock.

Time to Revisit our Invasive Species Strategy

Time to Revisit our Invasive Species Strategy

May 6, 2020

Perspective from Governor Mark Gordon

Invasive species are not a new phenomenon, but over the past few decades the West has seen an explosion of all types in all ecosystems.

Federal lands in public hands

Federal lands in public hands

Dec 7, 2018

The long history of Congressional intent to keep public lands public

Bob Keiter is the Wallace Stegner Professor of Law, University Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Wallace Stegner Center of Land, Resources, and the Environment

Your Federal Public Lands

Your Federal Public Lands

Dec 7, 2018

The United States of America is unique in the world for its vast system of federal public lands, which make up more than a quarter of the country’s land area. Those federal lands, mostly concentrated in the 11 westernmost states and Alaska, span everything from rivers and canyons to sagebrush steppe and alpine peaks.

Why We Have Federal Land

Why We Have Federal Land

Dec 7, 2018

The citizens and leaders behind our public land heritage

On June 30, 1864, the US Senate approved a grant of federal land to the state of California, a tract in the Sierra Nevada at the headwaters of the Merced River “known as the Yo-semite valley…with the stipulation…that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation…for all time.”

National Monuments and Local Concerns

National Monuments and Local Concerns

Dec 7, 2018

What it means to have protected public lands in your backyard

Waves lap the shoreline. An endless stellar canopy shimmers in the ink-colored sky. Smoky fragrance drifts from a campfire, and 20 middle school students sit around the dancing flames.

Belonging

Belonging

Dec 7, 2018

An essay

Sunlight and wind circled me, a girl looking out over the Red Desert and the small stream below. Perched next to a gnarled, twisted juniper that had been dead for my entire life, I sat at the edge of the draw that held the green meadow

What to Do with Wilderness Study Areas?

What to Do with Wilderness Study Areas?

Dec 7, 2018

A collaborative stakeholder group negotiates a solution

On a sunny afternoon in early May, twelve people sat around plastic tables in a classroom in the Carbon County Higher Education Center in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Where Domestic Sheep Still Roam

Where Domestic Sheep Still Roam

Dec 7, 2018

A court case challenges domestic sheep grazing on national forests

In any court case, there are two sides. But in a wood-paneled courtroom at the Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Butte, Montana, differences between the two sides headed to court were not immediately apparent.

Sharing Fences

Sharing Fences

Dec 7, 2018

Local knowledge guides research across public and private lands

“I’ve learned to tune out the incessant alarm calls of prairie dogs when I work,” says recent University of Wyoming graduate Lauren Connell. “It’s that or go crazy.”

One Steppe

One Steppe

Dec 7, 2018

New tools to improve management of Wyoming’s sagebrush ecosystem

In November 2014 the Douglas Core Area Restoration Team was all set to plant 16,000 sagebrush seedlings in a wildfire burn area east of Douglas, Wyoming.

Rebel Yell

Rebel Yell

Dec 7, 2018

Why the Sagebrush Rebellion didn’t end with Malheur

“The Court excludes Dr. Cawley’s testimony as irrelevant and finds, in any event, that its probative value is significantly outweighed by the risk of confusing the issues, misleading the jury, and wasting time.” Here’s the backstory.