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Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Conference of research on the Colorado Plateau

May 20, 2016


The Colorado Plateau is a physiographic region that encompasses 330,000 square kilometers in parts of four states in the southwestern United States (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona). Known for its high deserts, the Colorado Plateau also includes isolated mountains, high plateaus, and rugged canyons. Not only is the region topographically diverse, but geologically, biologically, and culturally diverse as well. The landscape is managed by Federal entities including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service; Tribal nations including the Navajo Nation, Kaibab Paiute, Mountain Ute, Southern Ute, Hopi, Zuni, Hualapai, Havasupai, and White Mountain Apache Tribes; State land and wildlife management agencies; and privately owned holdings, creating complex interactions and management challenges. Population growth, increased tourism to Federal and State lands, and energy development have increased water demands and altered land-use patterns, and these changes have emerged as management challenges facing the people working and living in the region. Climate change, particularly the ongoing drought, has exacerbated the effects of population growth, land-use change, and other stressors such as invasive species. As managers seek solutions to the challenges facing the region’s natural and cultural resources, the Biennial Conference of Science and Management of the Colorado Plateau has become an important venue for exchanging information about emerging management concerns and recent scientific research. Each biennial conference has sought to promote discussion, information sharing, and productive communication among the managers, scientists, students, administrators, tribal representatives, and others who attend the conference with the goal of enhancing the use of the best available science to manage the region’s incomparable natural and cultural resources.

The publication and dissemination of a conference proceedings series expands the reach of the conference beyond those people in attendance and creates a record on the research presented. The idea of producing a conference proceedings, and its subsequent publication, first occurred in 1993 following the first biennial conference in 1991. A published volume of contributed papers has followed each subsequent biennial conference, including this volume. The venue for publishing proceedings has changed over the years and has included the National Park Service, the Government Printing Office, the U.S. Geological Survey, and University of Arizona Press. Recently, van Riper and others (2015) published a compilation of the abstracts from the 11 previous conference proceedings. Collectively, the proceedings highlight approximately 25 years of natural- and cultural-resources research, promoting the integration of research with resource management across the Colorado Plateau. This volume is freely downloadable by the public, thereby further expanding the influence of this conference beyond the Colorado Plateau.

The 12th Biennial Conference held in Flagstaff, Arizona, from September 16 to 19, 2013, covered a range of topics in the physical, biological, and socio-cultural sciences. The conference was organized and hosted by Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, and the U.S. Geological Survey Southwest Biological Science Center. Financial and in-kind support was provided by a wide range of organizations including the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Grand Canyon Trust, Colorado Plateau Research Station, and various NAU entities. NAU sponsors include the Landscape Conservation Initiative, School of Forestry, School of Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability, Office of the Provost, and Office of the Vice President of Research. Contributors to these proceedings include researchers and managers from Federal, State, and Tribal governments, universities, private entities, and non-profit organizations. In this regard, this conference has wide-ranging support and participation among private and public entities involved in the science and management of natural resources on the Colorado Plateau.

Publication Year 2016
Title Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Conference of research on the Colorado Plateau
DOI 10.3133/sir20155180
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2015-5180
Index ID sir20155180
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Office of Science Quality and Integrity