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U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report

May 10, 2018

This is the ninth annual report highlighting U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science and decision-support activities conducted for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). The activities address specific management needs identified by WLCI partner agencies. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, there were 26 active USGS WLCI science-based projects. Of these 26 projects, one project was new for FY2016, and three were completed by the end of the fiscal year (though final products were still in preparation or review). USGS WLCI projects were grouped under five categories: (1) Baseline Synthesis, (2) Long-Term Monitoring, (3) Effectiveness Monitoring, (4) Mechanistic Studies of Wildlife, and (5) Data and Information Management. Each of these topic areas is designed to address WLCI management needs: identifying key drivers of change, identifying the condition and distribution of key wildlife species and habitats and of species’ habitat requirements, development of an integrated inventory and monitoring strategy, use of emerging technologies and development and testing of innovative methods for maximizing the efficiency and efficacy of monitoring efforts, evaluating the effectiveness of habitat treatment projects, evaluating the responses of wildlife to development, and developing a data clearinghouse and information management framework to support and provide access to results of most USGS WLCI projects.

In FY2016, we assisted with updating the WLCI Conservation Action Plan and associated databases as part of the Comprehensive Assessment, and we also assisted with the Bureau of Land Management 2015 WLCI annual report. By the end of FY2016, we completed or had nearly completed assessments of WLCI energy and mineral resources and had submitted a manuscript on modeled effects of oil and gas development on wildlife to a peer-reviewed journal. We also initiated a study on the effects of wind energy on wildlife in the WLCI region. A USGS circular on WLCI long-term monitoring was in review at the end of the fiscal year, and seven projects monitoring water and vegetation (including changes in sagebrush cover and patterns of sagebrush mortality) continued through the year. USGS scientists continued many projects in FY2016 that evaluate the effectiveness of habitat conservation actions (including sagebrush, cheatgrass, and aspen habitat treatments) and provide tools in support of mechanistic studies of wildlife. In FY2016, USGS scientists, along with university and State partners, continued work on five focal wildlife species/communities (pygmy rabbits [Brachylagus idahoensis], greater sage grouse , mule deer, sagebrush songbirds, and native fish). In FY2016, the USGS Information Management Team presented information to WLCI scientists on how USGS tools and resources can be used to fulfill the requirements of new USGS policies regarding data release, data management, and data visualization.

Publication Year 2018
Title U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report
DOI 10.3133/ofr20181048
Authors Zachary H. Bowen, Ellen Aikens, Cameron L. Aldridge, Patrick J. Anderson, Timothy J. Assal, Anna D. Chalfoun, Geneva W. Chong, Cheryl A. Eddy-Miller, Steven L. Garman, Steve Germaine, Collin G. Homer, Aaron N. Johnston, Matthew J. Kauffman, Daniel J. Manier, Cynthia P. Melcher, Kirk A. Miller, Annika W. Walters, Jerrod D. Wheeler, Daniel J. Wieferich, Anna B. Wilson, Teal B. Wyckoff, Linda Zeigenfuss
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2018-1048
Index ID ofr20181048
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center; Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center; Fort Collins Science Center; Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center; Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center; Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries