Ecoregion: Sage – Steppe

  1. Connections II Workshop Summer 2014

    July 9 – 10, 2014
    Bureau of Land Management – Montana/Dakotas State Office
    5001 Southgate Drive
    Billings, Montana

    For more information, contact Mike Olson at

    Project investigators Steve Krentz, Bob Gresswell, Kathy Chase and Chris Merkord respond to questions from technical committee members related to large rivers and streams research during the first Connections Workshop. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Project investigators Steve Krentz, Bob Gresswell, Kathy Chase and Chris Merkord respond to questions from technical committee members related to large rivers and streams research during the first Connections Workshop. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    We connect science and people. This July 9 – 10, 2014, the LCC will host its second Connections Workshop in Billings, Montana, to promote continued collaboration between scientists, managers, communicators and policy experts. Researchers and scientists will present and draw connections between more than 12 cutting edge projects supported by the LCC.  In addition to drawing linkages between terrestrial and aquatic resource challenges and opportunities, workshop participants will also participate in a session focused on the partnership’s priorities of land-use change and human dimensions.

    “Connections II” Workshop Save the Date

    • Connect Technical Committee members to researchers
    • Connect the work of your LCC with those who can use it
    • Connect the work on aquatic systems to terrestrial systems
    • Connect on-the-ground conservation efforts with the science to support those efforts
    • Connect our past and on-going efforts to potential future projects

    “This is guaranteed to be another great opportunity to improve your partnership by actively participating in discussions related to on-going and recently completed research supported by your LCC,” said Mike Olson, LCC Science Coordinator.

    The workshop will feature presentations related to research on aquatic and terrestrial systems by representatives from multiple agencies and organizations. The workshop will begin at 8:00 a.m., July 9, and conclude at 12:00 p.m., July 10, 2014.

    Local hotels include:

    Best Western Plus – 4915 Southgate Drive Phone: 406/256-9400
    Hampton Inn Billings – Southgate Drive Phone 406/248-4949
    Sleep Inn Billings – 4904 Southgate Drive Phone 406/254-0013

  2. Landscape Patterns Environmental Quality Analysis

    Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

    The Landscapes Patterns project is intended to provide support to multiple organizations with an interest in achieving environmental outcomes on landscapes of varying scales in the north-west part of the North American continent in general, and in Alberta in particular. The project undertook a literature review of publications that show a relationship between human land use and land use patterns and the qualitative state of various parts of the environment. Most published research focuses on wildlife species and water quality.

    Deliverables include a report and annotated bibliography, a citations spreadsheet and a presentation.

    Various map files were also produced as part of the project. The intent is to set up a spatial or keyword searchable function on the LC Map website and to allow website users to add citations to the citations and bibliographic database.

    A second phase of the project will involve collaboration among the funding parties regarding ways in which landscape metrics can be used to support environmental outcomes in land use and conservation planning.

  3. Oil production and invasive plant species in the Williston Basin

    U.S. Geological Survey

    Energy development across the northern plains of Montana and North Dakota is occurring at a rapid speed, while invasive species continue to challenge conservation practitioners’ efforts to restore native prairie, grassland and wetland habitats. Led by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), this study will help resource managers understand how invasive plants are moving and the role of oil development in invasions.  Research results will assist wildlife managers, private landowners and the oil industry in developing effective ways to reduce the spread of invasive plant species. More than 46,000 new petroleum-related wells have been drilled in the Williston Basin and Bakken Formation since the first successful Bakken test well was drilled in 2000. The study will examine if there is a pathway for noxious weeds to become established in adjacent native prairie lands associated with well pad construction, and will help the conservation community understand the interactions between recent energy development and the introduction and spread of invasive species across the plains and prairie pothole region.

  4. State Wildlife Action Plan revisions addressing climate change

    Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; South Dakota Game Fish and Parks; Wyoming Game, Fish and Parks
    March 2010 – June 2012

    The states of Iowa, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming have used LCC funding to support the revision of their individual State Wildlife Actions Plans to accommodate for the potential impacts of climate change.  Each state received $10,000 in funding from the LCC to support this effort. The completed plans can be found at

  5. Wetland hydroperiod and climate change: Implications for biodiversity and water availability

    Dr. Melanie Murphy, University of Wyoming
    April 2012 – April 2013

    Wetland hydroperiod, the length of time water is available in wetlands, is particularly sensitive to changes in precipitation, temperature and timing due to climate variation. Truncated hydroperiod has major implications for wetland-dependent species (e.g., waterfowl) and human water allocation. Researchers aim to link hydroperiod to current climatic variation and use this relationship to predict wetland hydroperiod across the moisture gradient from sage steppe to grasslands.

    Download Final Report: Phase 1 (1.72 MB)

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