Piñon-juniper woodlands are an important vegetation type in the Great Basin. Old-growth and open shrub savanna woodlands have been present over much of the last several hundred years. Strong evidence indicates these woodlands have experienced significant tree infilling and major expansion in their distribution since the late 1800s by encroaching into surrounding landscapes once dominated by shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. Both infilling and expansion affects soil resources, plant community structure and composition, water and nutrient cycles, forage production, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and fire patterns across the landscape. Another impact is the shift from historic fire regimes to larger and more intense wildfires that are increasingly determining the future of this landscape. This publication helps biologists and land managers consider how to look at expansion of woodlands and determine what questions to ask to develop a management strategy, including prescribed fire or other practices.
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Tausch, R.J., Miller, R.F., Roundy, B.A., and Chambers, J.C., 2009, Piñon and juniper field guide: Asking the right questions to select appropriate management actions: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1335, 96 p.
Questions to be Addressed
Setting Goals and Objectives
Part I: The Ecological Site
Part II: The Current State of the Site
Part III: Landscape Considerations
Part IV: Selecting Appropriate Management Actions and Treatments
Appendix 1: Field Assessment Form
Appendix 2: Species Codes
Glossary of Terms