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Rangelands

The rangeland ecosystems of the western states are vast, productive, yet brittle systems.  Little available moisture, long months when the ground is frozen and plants in dormancy, and often poor soils make directed changes in habitat slow to come to fruition.  Little reliable information is known of the historic details of these systems.   Efforts to improve the health of western rangelands will require a unified mechanistic ecological framework to specifically address ecological processes in need of repair. 

WWC believes habitat treatments should be based on ecological principles to favor successional dynamics toward a desired plant community and their associated interactions with other essential components of the ecosystem.  

Rangeland Health Assessments provide qualitative information on ecosystem attributes and provides a method for determining which causes of plant community succession are most likely directing dynamics and leads resource managers to those ecological processes most likely in need of repair. Thus, management can be tailored to specifically address those causes and processes of plant community dynamics with the highest probability of directing vegetation on a favorable trajectory. 

 For more information on grazing and sage-grouse, please see our Publications & Projects page for a link to the collaborative paper: Grazing Influence, Objective Development and Management in Wyoming's Greater Sage-grouse Habitat, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Bulletin B-1203.

 

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