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Open-File Report 2010-1231

U.S. Geological Survey Science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2009 Annual Report

By Zachary H. Bowen, Cameron L. Aldridge, Patrick J. Anderson, Timothy J. Assal, Laura R. H. Biewick, Steven W. Blecker, Sky Bristol, Natasha B. Carr, Anna D. Chalfoun, Geneva W. Chong, Jay E. Diffendorfer, Bradley C. Fedy, Steven L. Garman, Stephen Germaine, Richard I. Grauch, JoAnn Holloway, Collin Homer, Matthew J. Kauffman, Douglas Keinath, Natalie Latysh, Daniel Manier, Robert R. McDougal, Cynthia P. Melcher, Kirk A. Miller, Jessica Montag, Constance J. Nutt, Christopher J. Potter, Hall Sawyer, Spencer Schell, Sarah L. Shafer, David B. Smith, Lisa L. Stillings, Michele Tuttle, and Anna B. Wilson

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This is the second report produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) to detail annual work activities. The first report described work activities for 2007 and 2008; this report covers work activities conducted in 2009. Important differences between the two reports are that (1) this report does not lump all the Effectiveness Monitoring activities together as last year’s report did, which will allow WLCI partners and other readers to fully appreciate the scope and accomplishments of those activities, and (2) this report does not include a comprehensive appendix of the background details for each work activity. In 2009, there were 29 ongoing or completed activities, and there were 5 new work activities conducted under the 5 original major multi-disciplinary science and technical assistance activities: (1) Baseline Synthesis; (2) Targeted Monitoring and Research; (3) Data and Information Management; (4) Integration and Coordination; and (5) Decisionmaking and Evaluation. New work included (1) developing a soil-quality index, (2) developing methods for assessing levels of and relationships between mercury and soil organic matter, and (3) ascertaining element source, mobility, and fate. Additionally, (4) remotely sensed imagery was used to assess vegetation as an indicator of soil condition and geology, and (5) an Integrated Assessment (IA) was initiated to synthesize what has been learned about WLCI systems to date, and to develop associated decision tools, maps, and a comprehensive report.

First posted October 5, 2010

For additional information contact:

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Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118

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Suggested citation:

Bowen, Z.H., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Assal, T.J., Biewick, L.R.H., Blecker, S.W., Bristol, S., Carr, N.B., Chalfoun, A.D., Chong, G.W., Diffendorfer, J.E., Fedy, B.C., Garman, S.L., Germaine, S., Grauch, R.I., Holloway, J., Homer, C., Kauffman, M.J., Keinath, D., Latysh, N., Manier, D., McDougal, R.R., Melcher, C.P., Miller, K.A., Montag, J., Nutt, C.J., Potter, C.J., Sawyer, H., Schell, S., Shafer, S.L., Smith, D.B., Stillings, L.L., Tuttle, M., and Wilson, A.B., 2010, U.S. Geological Survey Science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2009 Annual Report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1231, 106 p.



Contents

Conversion Factors

Acronyms Used in this Report

Acknowledgments

Abstract

Introduction

USGS WLCI Science Strategy Continues to Guide Science and Technical Assistance Activities in
FY2009: Towards an Integrated Assessment

USGS WLCI Annual Report for FY2009

Science and Technical Assistance Summaries

Baseline Synthesis

Summary

Application of Comprehensive Assessment Data to Support WLCI Decisionmaking and
Conservation Actions

Assessing Land Use/Cover Change

Assessing Energy Futures

Assessing Mineral Resources

Developing Methods for Assessing Soil Organic Matter and Mercury at Variable Spatial
Scales

Developing Methods for Assessing Element Mobility and Availability in Soils of the Greater
Green River Basin

Developing Remote Sensing Applications for Geologic, Vegetation, and Soil Investigations

Developing a Soil-Quality Index

Assessing Socioeconomics: Oil and Gas Development Literature Review and Case Study

Assessing Rancher Perceptions of Energy Development in Southwest Wyoming

Assessing Wildlife Vulnerability to Energy Development

Climate Change and Simulating Potential Future Vegetation

Development of Conceptual Models to Inform WLCI Long-term Monitoring and Selection of
Monitoring Indicators

Targeted Monitoring and Research

Summary: Inventory and Long-Term Monitoring

Framework and Indicators for Long-Term Monitoring

Remote Sensing for Vegetation Inventory and Monitoring

Long-Term Monitoring of Soil Geochemistry

Long-Term Monitoring of Surface Water and Groundwater Hydrology

Summary: Effectiveness Monitoring of Habitat Treatments

Applying Greenness Indices to Evaluate Sagebrush Treatments in the WLCI Region

Greater Sage-Grouse Use of Vegetation Treatment Sites

Occurrence of Cheatgrass Associated with Habitat Projects in the Little Mountain Ecosystem
Area

Application and Feasibility of Mapping Aspen Stands and Conifer Encroachment Using
Classification and Regression Tree (CART) Analysis for Effectiveness Monitoring

Aspen Regeneration Associated with Mechanical Removal of Subalpine Fir

Herbivory, Stand Condition, and Regeneration Rates of Aspen on Burned and Unburned Plots for Effectiveness Monitoring

Use of Aspen Stands by Migrant Birds for Effectiveness Monitoring

Soil Chemistry: Relationships between Energy Exploration/Development and Salinity of Soils and Waters

Summary: Mechanistic Research of Wildlife

Pygmy Rabbit

Sage-Grouse

Songbird Community

Mule Deer

Data and Information Management

Summary

Data Management Framework and Clearinghouse

Science and Conservation Projects Database

Outreach and Graphic Products

WLCI Interagency Coordination, Science Integration, Decisionmaking, and Evaluation

Summary

WLCI Interagency Coordination, Science Integration, Decisionmaking, and Evaluation

References Cited

 

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