Development of a Science-Based Decision Making Model For Restoration of Pinyon-Juniper Ecosystems

   Ecosystems dominated by species of pinyon and juniper trees represent one of the dominant vegetation types administered by federal land-management agencies in the West. Historic changes have occurred in the structure (thickening woodlands) and extent (tree establishment in adjacent grasslands and shrub steppe) of pinyon-juniper ecosystems, with resulting impacts on fire risk, forage production for livestock, wildlife habitat, and watershed conditions. These changes and impacts have caused concern among managers, leading to a sharp increase in acreages treated to remove overstory trees and restore understory vegetation communities and associated values. Tremendous investments of fiscal and human resources are devoted to treatment programs. Our primary research goal is to provide the scientific information about constraints to restoration success and ecological risks associated with various treatment alternatives.

Canyon Country Science Symposium, Moab, Utah, March, 2012

   The Canyon Country Science Symposium was conducted as a series of research presentations over a two-day period in March of 2012 at the Red Cliffs Lodge in Utah. The overarching goal of the symposium was to bring together researchers that have on-going projects in the Canyon Country area to share their findings not only with other researchers working in the region but with local land managers. We had a fantastic showing with 100+ researchers and land managers in attendance on the first day. We also had a great discussion related to doing science that supports management needs in the region. Due to the clear need for this symposium, it is our hope to have a bi-annual science symposium in the future. Please contact Nichole Barger ( for any additional questions or information.

Baker B. : Canyonlands Research Center. Presentation

Belnap J. : The roles of soil surfaces in dryland ecosysstems. Presentation

Bowker M.A., Miller M.E., Belote T. : Assessing the provisioning of multiple ecosystem services in semi-arid rangelands. Presentation

Brasher A., Miller M., Scott M., Beisner K. : Integrated assessment of the impacts of vehicle. Presentation

Brunson M. : Dust, crust, plants & people. Presentation

Duniway M. C. : Shallow soils, roots in rocks and plantwater availability. Presentation

Flagg C. : Spatio-Temporal Variation of Fugitive Dust Flux from Colorado Plateau landscapes. Presentation

Graham T. : Ant community structure in Salt Creek, Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Presentation

Guenther H. S., Barger N. N. : Fuel Reduction Effects on Plant Communities in Upland Pinon-Juniper Woodlands. Presentation

Hoffmann S. L., Brunson W.M. : Dynamics of fugitive dust in Arches National Park. Presentation

Miller M., Brasher A. : Assessing watershed condition streams and rivers of the semi-arid Colorado Plateau. Presentation

Northen T. : Metabolic dynamics of Colorado Plateau Biological Soil Crusts. Presentation

Redmond M. D., Barger N. N. : The influence of climate on annual variations in cone production among Pinyon Pine. Presentation

Reed S. et al. : Ecosystem consequences of nitrogen deposition in the Four Corner region. Presentation

Reheis M. et al : Seasonal Deposition Rates and Compositions of Aeolian Dust in the Canyonlands Area. Presentation

Reynolds R. et al : Distribution of mineral dust and related fertility in dryland soils. Presentation

Van Scoyoc M., Schupp E. : Ecosystem Assessment on the Monticello Ranger District Manti-La Sal National Forest. Presentation

Weissinger R., Perkind D. : Springs monitoring in Northern Colorado Plateau Network national park units. Presentation

Westin T., Reed S., Belnap J. : Increased temperature negatively affects carbon assimilation and growth of Achantherum hymenoides bunchgrass. Presentation

Witwicki D., Perkins D. : Long-term ecological monitoring to detect trends in northern Colorado Plateau uplands. Presentation

Wood T. : Population Genetics Analysis of Two Canyon Country Plant Species. Presentation

Robinson W. : Biocontrol with Tamarisk Beetles. Presentation

Zelikova T. J. : Livestock grazing on the Colorado Plateau: Impacts for above and below ground carbon stocks. Presentation

Goldstein H. J. et al : Loess deposits in the Hatch Point-Canyon Rims area: physical characteristics and correlation to aeolian and fluvial records in southeastern Utha. Presentation

Urban F. E. et al : Local and Regional Airborne Dust in the Canyonlands Region. Presentation