Sagebrush ecosystems in the United States have been declining due to agricultural and urban development, invasive species, and altered wildfire patterns, resulting in biodiversity and habitat loss.
Future Direction of Fuels Management in Sagebrush Rangelands
A variety of fuel treatments, including fuel breaks, herbicides, and mowing, are being implemented in the Great Basin to reduce the amount of flammable vegetation and limit wildfire severity and spread. In a new review paper, a group of USGS and academic researchers summarize current knowledge of common fuels management approaches, discuss challenges for fuel treatment strategies, and explore how advances in technology and monitoring can improve the efficacy of fuels management. The authors identify several important factors that impact fuels management, including increasing temperatures, variability in precipitation, expansion of exotic annual grasses, and socioeconomic changes. The intent of the review paper is to provide scientists and land managers with key information on wildfire fuel science and management to address changes in sagebrush rangelands.
Shinneman, D.J., Strand, E.K., Pellant, M., Abatzoglou, J.T., Brunson, M., Glenn, N., Heinrichs, J.A., Sadegh, M., and Vaillant, N., 2022, Future direction of fuels management in sagebrush rangelands: Rangeland Ecology and Management, v. 86, p. 50-63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2022.10.009