Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC)


Scientists from the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center capitalize on their diverse expertise to answer scientific questions shaped by the environments of the western United States. We collaborate with each other and with partners to provide rigorous, objective, and timely information and guidance for the management and conservation of biological systems in the West and worldwide. 

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC scientists, individually or collaboratively with partners, investigate high-priority questions about biological systems.

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Featured Research

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Date published: February 20, 2020

Feeding Ecology Drives Lead Exposure of Facultative and Obligate Avian Scavengers in the Eastern United States

Many lead exposure studies of scavenging birds have focused on individual species. However, studying multiple species with similar, but not identical, feeding behaviors can provide insights into how an animal’s ecology determines its lead exposure. 

Date published: February 20, 2020

FRESC’s Michael Adams Selected for Excellence Award

USGS FRESC Supervisory Research Ecologist and National Coordinator for the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) Michael Adams has been selected to receive the 2020 Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation. 

Date published: February 20, 2020

Reptiles Under the Conservation Umbrella of the Greater Sage-Grouse

Management actions for umbrella species may also benefit co‐occurring species. An understanding of how sage-grouse conservation might benefit non‐target species, such as reptiles, is limited. 


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Year Published: 2020

Occupancy patterns in a reintroduced fisher population during reestablishment

Monitoring population performance in the years following species reintroductions is key to assessing population restoration success and evaluating assumptions made in planning species restoration programs. From 2008–2010 we translocated 90 fishers (Pekania pennanti) from British Columbia, Canada, to Washington's Olympic Peninsula, USA, providing...

Happe, Patricia J.; Jenkins, Kurt; Mccaffery, Rebecca; Lewis, J. C.; Pilgrim, Kristine; Schwartz, Michael K.

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Year Published: 2019

Removal of cattle grazing correlates with increases in vegetation productivity and in abundance of imperiled breeding birds

Livestock grazing is the most prevalent land use practice in the western United States and a widespread cause of degradation of riparian vegetation. Riparian areas provide high-quality habitat for many species of declining migratory breeding birds. We analyzed changes in vegetation and bird abundance at a wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon...

Poessel, Sharon; Hagar, Joan; Haggerty, Patricia; Katzner, Todd E.

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Year Published: 2019

Developing and optimizing shrub parameters representing sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems in the Northern Great Basin using the Ecosystem Demography (EDv2.2) model

Ecosystem dynamic models are useful for understanding ecosystem characteristics over time and space because of their efficiency over direct field measurements and applicability to broad spatial extents. Their application, however, is challenging due to internal model uncertainties and complexities arising from distinct qualities of the ecosystems...

Pandit, Karun; Dasthi, Hamid; Glenn, Nancy; Flores, Alejandro; Maguire, Kaitlin C.; Shinneman, Douglas; Flerchinger, Gerald; Fellow, Aaron