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Circular 1321

Circular 1321


Western Juniper Field Guide: Asking the Right Questions to Select Appropriate Management Actions

This is contribution number 01 of the
Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP),
supported by funds from the U.S. Joint Fire Science Program.
Partial support for this guide was provided by
U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center.

By R.F. Miller, Oregon State University, J.D. Bates, T.J. Svejcar, F.B. Pierson, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and L.E. Eddleman, Oregon State University


Strong evidence indicates that western juniper has significantly expanded its range since the late 1800s by encroaching into landscapes once dominated by shrubs and herbaceous vegetation (fig. 1). Woodland expansion affects soil resources, plant community structure and composition, water, nutrient and fire cycles, forage production, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity. Goals of juniper management include an attempt to restore ecosystem function and a more balanced plant community that includes shrubs, grasses, and forbs, and to increase ecosystem resilience to disturbances. Developing a management strategy can be a difficult task due to uncertainty about how vegetation, soils, hydrologic function, and wildlife will respond to treatments.


Questions to be Addressed
Setting Goals and Objectives
Part I: Identifying the Ecological Site
Part II: Current State of the Site
Part III: Landscape Considerations
Part IV: Selecting Appropriate Management Action and Treatment
Post-Treatment Management
Appendix 1: Field Assessment Form
Appendix 2: Species Codes
Glossary of Terms

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Download the report (PDF, 16 MB)

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Send questions or comments about this report to Director, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, 541-750-1030 or

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