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Bridging the research-management gap: Landscape ecology in practice on public lands in the western United States

February 11, 2020

The field of landscape ecology has grown and matured in recent decades, but incorporating landscape science into land management decisions remains challenging. Many lands in the western United States are federally owned and managed for multiple uses, including recreation, conservation, and energy development. We argue for stronger integration of landscape science into the management of these public lands. We open by outlining the relevance of landscape science for public land planning, management, and environmental effects analysis, including pertinent laws and policies. We identify challenges to integrating landscape science into public land management, including the multijurisdictional nature and complicated spatial pattern of public lands, the capacity of agencies to identify and fill landscape science needs, and public perceptions about the meaning of landscape approaches to management. We provide several recent examples related to landscape monitoring, restoration, reclamation, and conservation in which landscape science products were developed specifically to support decision-making. We close by highlighting three actions - elevating the importance of science-management partnerships dedicated to coproducing actionable landscape science products, identifying where landscape science could foster efficiencies in the land-use planning process, and developing scenario-based landscape models for shrublands - that could improve landscape science support for public land planners and managers.

Publication Year 2020
Title Bridging the research-management gap: Landscape ecology in practice on public lands in the western United States
DOI 10.1007/s10980-020-00970-5
Authors Sarah K. Carter, David Pilliod, Travis S. Haby, Karen L. Prentice, Cameron L. Aldridge, Patrick J. Anderson, Zachary H. Bowen, John B. Bradford, Samuel A. Cushman, Joseph C. DeVivo, Michael C. Duniway, Ryan S. Hathaway, Lisa Nelson, Courtney A. Schultz, Rudy Schuster, E. Jamie Trammell, Jake Weltzin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Landscape Ecology
Index ID 70211360
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center; Fort Collins Science Center; Office of the AD Ecosystems; Southwest Biological Science Center