Fort Collins Science Center

Land Management

Filter Total Items: 48
Date published: October 18, 2016
Status: Active

Counting America’s Wild Horses and Burros: Better Estimates for Population Management

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended, states that, "It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands (PL 92-195, Sec. 1331, Congressional...

Date published: October 14, 2016
Status: Active

Grassland Ecology and Conservation

Grasslands are arguably one of the most anthropogenically stressed ecosystems of the western United States. The highly endangered black-footed ferret and prairie dogs epitomize grassland mammals of high conservation concern.

Date published: October 12, 2016
Status: Active

Landscape and Habitat Assessment

A central focus of this program is to conduct multi-scale assessments in order to develop related geospatial decision-support tools and methods. The program includes synthesizing broad-scale datasets and developing innovative approaches to assess the vulnerability and resilience of wildlife habitats and ecosystems, relative to land management decisions and ecosystem stressors on Department of...

Date published: September 22, 2016
Status: Active

The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI)

Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a long-term collaboration between FORT, WERC, NOROCK, USFS, NPS, LANL, and universities worldwide to address changes in montane forests and watersheds due to climate change. Current emphases include altered forest disturbance regimes (fire, die-off, insect outbreaks) and hydrology; interactions between plants, water, snow, nutrient cycles, and climate; and...

Date published: September 21, 2016
Status: Active

Tree Mortality Patterns and Processes

Natural climatic variability, including episodic droughts, has long been known to trigger accelerated tree mortality in forests worldwide, including in the Southwest U.S. Scientific understanding of the process drivers and spatial patterns of tree mortality is surprisingly limited, constraining our ability to model forest responses to projected climate changes. The onset of regional drought...

Date published: September 21, 2016
Status: Active

Long-term, Place-based, Ecological Monitoring

For over 30 years we have monitored the ecosystem dynamics of the mesas and mountains of northern New Mexico, based at Bandelier National Monument and the New Mexico state office for the Bureau of Land Management. Our work provides land managers and scientists with diverse information on landscape responses to climate and disturbances (fire, drought, insects) such as vegetation and erosion...

Date published: September 20, 2016
Status: Active

Post-fire Recovery Patterns in Southwestern Forests

High-severity crown fires in Southwestern dry-conifer forests — resulting from fire suppression, fuel buildups, and drought — are creating large treeless areas that are historically unprecedented in size. These recent stand-replacing fires have reset extensive portions of Southwest forest landscapes, fostering post-fire successional vegetation that can alter ecological recovery trajectories...

Date published: September 1, 2016
Status: Active

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI)

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: August 31, 2016
Status: Active

Incorporating Genetic Data into Spatially-explicit Population Viability Models for Gunnison Sage-grouse

This goal of this study is to develop a spatially explicit habitat-population modeling framework to assess the viability of Gunnison Sage-grouse and each of the seven populations (Gunnison Basin and six satellite populations).

Date published: August 29, 2016
Status: Active

Wild Horse and Burro Population Management

Wild horse populations often increase at high rates on U.S. western rangelands, which in turn can lead to habitat degradation. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management are cooperating on studies investigating the potential of fertility control drugs to reduce foaling rates. In addition, because nearly every management issue concerning wild horses depends on accurate herd...

Date published: August 29, 2016
Status: Active

Ecological Flows

Ecological flow is a central theme of AS Branch studies, as our research examines how water flows affect populations, communities, ecosystems, and hydroscapes. Our studies elucidate the interactions among hydrologic, geomorphologic, biogeochemical, biological, and anthropogenic processes. Branch scientists identify and quantify the spatial and temporal attributes of water flow for ecological...

Date published: August 26, 2016
Status: Active

Research for Management of America's Wild Horses and Burros

FORT scientists are leading collaborative research projects to provide the BLM with better tools for managing expanding wild horse and burro populations. We are assessing the carrying capacity of wild horse habitats, behavioral effects of spaying mares and gelding a proportion of a herd’s stallions, testing the efficacy of an intrauterine device for mares, and evaluating four fertility-control...