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)

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)

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)

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)

Wildfires will become more frequent due to rising temperatures, but study finds changes will be far from uniform

April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018, University of Missouri-Columbia

Scientists have long believed that wildfires would become more frequent as global temperatures rise, but comparatively few studies have forecast fire behavior by region. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that while wildfires in the U.S. will become more frequent overall in the future, changes will not be straightforward and uniform, as it is likely some regions will see decreases in wildfires. (full article)


Wildfire intensity impacts water quality and its treatment in forested watersheds

March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018  :American Chemical Society

The recent Thomas Fire in California was the largest wildfire in the state’s modern history. It scorched nearly 282,000 acres between December 2017 and January 2018, and serves as a reminder of how devastating such events can be. Now, researchers report that wildfires in forested watersheds can have a variable but predictable impact on the substances that are released from soils and flow into drinking water sources. The new research provides important insights for water utilities evaluating treatment options after severe wildfires. (full article)

Great Basin Fire Science Exchange 2018 Webinar Series

March 13, 2018

Moving the Needle on Cheatgrass: Putting What We Know Into Practice

This webinar series will provide information on integrated management approaches using specific strategies and proven tools. (Link)


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