Invasive annual weeds such as cheatgrass and medusahead wildrye have taken over millions of hectares of sagebrush-bunchgrass rangeland in the Great Basin sagebrush steppe. Restoration of these rangelands is hampered by a generally dry climate and very high annual and seasonal variability in weather. The inherent ecological resilience and resistance to weed invasion in these systems is also linked to climatological variability as a function of latitude, elevation and topographic position on the landscape.
Unfortunately, site-specific information that would be useful in rangeland restoration planning is dispersed among multiple sources, and is not necessarily formatted in a way that is immediately useful for rangeland restoration planning. The general lack of timely access to site-specific weather and microclimatic information is especially problematic as the bulk of rangeland revegetation planning is conducted short, time-limited pulses of planning that are linked to Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) programs.
The purpose of this website is to provide timely and site-specific information about long-term patterns of weather and microsite variability for rangeland restoration planning and management. This information can be used to develop long-term adaptive management strategies for rangeland restoration planning; to evaluate historical weather effects on past restoration-management activities; and to put short-term scientific studies into the context of longer-term expectations for weather variability at a given field site.
An additional objective of this site is to host databases and modeling tools that can be used in upper-division and graduate level university courses in rangeland restoration and management. These educational modules are designed to give rangeland-restoration students an appreciation of variable-weather effects on restoration success, and a weather-centric basis for rangeland restoration planning and management.
Future enhancements to this site will include:
- Expansion of weather tools for seasonal forecasting applications
- Climate-change scenarios for adaptation and mitigation strategies
- Location-specific Ecological Site Description supplements for restoration planning
- Weather and climate database support for additional rangeland and natural resource management applications
- Current Tools and Data
- Weather data access
- Restoration climatologies
- Weather and seedbed microclimate – Educational Module
- Literature References