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Conservation Planning Tool for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-grouse

June 1, 2023

The Bi-State conservation planning tool provides a science-based approach for prioritizing pinyon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus osteosperma, J. occidentalis), hereafter, 'conifer', removal to improve habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2010). Conifer negatively affects sage-grouse survival (Coates et al. 2017; Prochazka et al. 2017) and these detrimental effects can carry through to reduce the persistence of populations (Baruch-Mordo et al. 2013). Removal of trees improves sage-grouse nesting habitat within 3 years of treatment through increased herbaceous vegetation and sagebrush height (Severson et al. 2017). The conservation planning tool operationalizes a spatially explicit modeling framework developed to predict improvements to sage-grouse habitat following conifer removal in the Bi-State DPS (Ricca et al. 2018). This web-based software application, outfitted with a user-friendly interface, employs a recently developed high resolution conifer product (Gustafson et al. 2017; Roth et al. 2021) and guides managers through the steps of designing conifer removal sites and measuring outcomes of simulated conifer removal actions (Ricca et al. 2018; Miller et al. 2019). Specifically, the CPT interface, users have options to: (1) interact with pre-loaded maps of important sage-grouse boundaries to delineate proposed conifer treatment sites; (2) parameterize the conifer removal simulation with information specific to their treatment actions, including targeted conifer cover class, estimated cost, and management goal; (3) view maps of predicted improvement to sage-grouse habitat conditions and review tabular information ranking sites by desired treatment outcome, either total ecological benefit or cost effectiveness. All results are available for download within the interface.

Publication Year 2023
Title Conservation Planning Tool for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-grouse
DOI 10.5066/P9SM6DSX
Authors Cali L Roth, Peter S Coates
Product Type Software Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center - Headquarters