The key triggers of the costly 2017 wildfire season

July 3, 2018

New research shows that three major ‘switches’ affecting wildfire — fuel, aridity, and ignition — were either flipped on and/or kept on longer than expected last year, triggering one of the largest and costliest US wildfire seasons in recent decades.  (full article)

Sage grouse DNA study maps crucial mating grounds in US West

June 5, 2018
By keith ridler, associated press

BOISE, Idaho — Jun 5, 2018

Sage grouse have a vast network of mating grounds in the U.S. West akin to interconnected regional airport hubs that the imperiled species is using to maintain genetic diversity across its entire range, a DNA study has revealed. (full article)

Resistant grasses adding to farmers’ herbicide woes

May 18, 2018

Resistant Palmer amaranth or pigweed has been garnering the lion’s share of farmers’ attention in recent years.

In some ways, the focus on pigweed has allowed glyphosate-resistant grasses to become a bigger problem in the region. (link)

Western States, Wyoming Wage War On Invasive Species

April 5, 2018

They suck up millions of gallons of water, further endanger already threatened or endangered species, cost billions of dollars, undermine agriculture, affect waterways and land from plains to forests, ruin ecosystems by crowding out native species, and breed like crazy.

Invasive species swim, grow, crawl, have plagued western states for decades, affect about 100 million acres or the size of California, and breed like crazy.

And they must be stopped, the Western Governors’ Association announced Thursday.

The association published the first-ever list of the 50 worst invasive species — 25 terrestrial and 25 aquatic — affecting the west. (full article)

Western Innovator: Researcher establishes grazing as fire tool

November 21, 2018

By Brad Carlson Published on October 4, 2018

Kirk Davies and his fellow rangeland scientists in southeastern Oregon for years produced studies showing earlier grazing reduces future fire risk while benefiting native plants. (full article)

A promising approach to optimize pig genomics

November 21, 2018

The rapid increase in the world population, which is expected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, needs to be accompanied by a substantial increase in food production. At the same time, consumers require tasty and high-quality food, produced under exemplary welfare and health conditions, all at a minimized cost. (full article)

Livestock (grazing) systems provide a large diversity of ecosystem services

November 21, 2018

The interaction between livestock systems and their respective environments is complex. Livestock agro-ecosystems makes a large contribution to a diversity of Ecosystem Services (ES), i.e. the benefits that people can obtain from ecosystems, in contrast to the possible negative externalities of livestock production (“dis-services”). (full article)

Billions of gallons of water saved by thinning forests : Too many trees in Sierra Nevada forests stress water supplies, scientists say

July 3, 2018

There are too many trees in Sierra Nevada forests, say scientists. That may come as a surprise to those who see dense, verdant forests as signs of a healthy environment. After all, green is good, right? Not necessarily. When it comes to the number of trees in California forests, bigger isn’t always better. (full article)

New research on avian response to wildfires

July 3, 2018

New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied.  (full article)

Cutting and leaving invasive western juniper may lead to increase in invasive grasses

March 14, 2018

March 14, 2018, Oregon State University

A new study, published in the journal Rangeland Ecology and Management, finds that in areas already overrun by juniper and non-native grasses, juniper reduction efforts alone aren’t going to be enough to restore the area, and that the problem will increase. (full article)

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