Status and Trends Program

Management and Restoration

Successful restoration or rehabilitation of degraded species, habitats and ecosystems requires assessments of the status and trends of the impacted system before, during and after restoration. In addition, an ecological understanding is required to inform changes in resource management activities to support restoration, as well as to assess the relative success of the restoration and to adjust activities using adaptive approaches.

Filter Total Items: 35
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Breeding bird use of grasslands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in the northern Great Plains

Agriculture is the dominant land use on privately owned lands in the northern Great Plains of the United States.  Management decisions on agricultural lands are influenced by a variety of policies and programs established by the federal government in periodic Farm Bills.  In 1985, Congress passed the Food Security Act.  Title XII of the Act established the Conservation Reserve Program or CRP,...

Contacts: Lawrence Igl
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Wetland Restoration in the San Francisco Bay Delta and Pacific Northwest

Estuaries and healthy coastal habitats are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth. They provide a variety of benefits, including habitat and food for fish and wildlife, flood and erosion protection, improved water quality, increased carbon sequestration, as well as beautiful scenery and opportunities for recreation.  Along the U.S. Pacific Coast, both the San Francisco Bay estuary and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Modeling Sea-Level Rise in San Francisco Bay Estuary

With sea level rise, how will the coastal habitats of the San Francisco Bay Estuary change over the next 100 years? Mapping and modeling studies by Dr. Karen Thorne, WERC scientists, and partners have produced scenarios for this important coastal ecosystem.

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Fire Severity Trends in the Western U.S.

How will increased drought affect forest fire severity? WERC’s Dr. Phil van Mantgem is testing the idea increased drought stress may affect forest fire severity independent of fire intensity. Drought stress prior to fire can affect tree health, potentially resulting in a higher sensitivity to fire-induced damage. Thus, with drought there may be ongoing increases in fire severity (the number of...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Stressors - Rocky Coastlines, Mangroves, Marshes, Droughts, and Storms

Coastal estuaries that contain marshes and mangroves are currently being reshaped by changing ocean and atmospheric conditions through prolong drought, sea-level rise and increased extreme storm events. Many projected increases in sea-level are expected to result in loss of tidal wetlands and their component species. In addition, changing sediment loads, extreme tide and storm events, and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Drought and Western Forests

USGS WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem and his collaborators are using plot-based methods to describe change and vulnerability to drought in the forests of the western United States. A focus of this work is the installation and maintenance of large (1 ha) monitoring plots. Many other vegetation monitoring strategies are based on small (0.1 ha) plots, which may not be sufficient to detect changes in...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Aridlands Disturbances and Restoration Ecology

Desert landscapes are rapidly changing due to increases in invasive plant species, frequency of wildfires, urban and energy development, recreational use, military training, and climate variation. Dr. Todd Esque, USGS researchers, and collaborators are working together to investigate these changes and provide managers with key information that can be used to manage natural resources more...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

RestoreNet: Distributed Field Trial Network for Dryland Restoration

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers and land managers are co-producing a network of restoration field trial sites on DOI and surrounding lands in the southwestern U.S. The network systematically tests restoration treatments across a broad range of landscape, soil, and climate conditions. Each site in the network is used to test suitable seed mixes and treatments that promote plant...

Contacts: Seth Munson, Molly McCormick, Katie Laushman, Rebecca Mann, Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Brad Butterfield, Elise Gornish, Loralee Larios, Akasha Faist, Helen Rowe, Christopher Lortie, Caroline A. Havrilla
Date published: June 14, 2017
Status: Active

Stressors to Greater Sage-Grouse

The Greater Sage-grouse is a small bird found only in the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin. Invasions of non-native grasses, evolving wildfire patterns, grazing from livestock, and human land uses are changing this unique ecosystem. WERC’s Dr. Pete Coates studies sage-grouse populations to determine how these influences could affect the bird and other wildlife in the future.

Contacts: Peter Coates
Date published: March 10, 2017
Status: Active

Developing Monitoring Programs for Damaged Ecosystems

California’s Channel Islands are recovering from a long history of ranching. As the island ecosystems respond to the absence of livestock, WERC’s Dr. Kathryn McEachern is working with the National Park Service to test new monitoring programs that could help ecologists and biologists study recovering environments across the West.

Date published: December 9, 2016
Status: Active

RAMPS: Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest

The Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) seeks to assist U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other land management agencies in developing successful techniques for improving land condition in dryland ecosystems of the southwestern United States. Invasion by non-native species, wildfire, drought, and other disturbances are growing...