Executive Summary -- In 1982, the Bureau of Land Management?s (BLM) Idaho State Office began the Intermountain Greenstripping and Rehabilitation Research Project (IGRRP), or the ?Greenstripping Program,? to investigate plant materials and technologies that can reduce wildfire incidence and improve rehabilitation practices. Rehabilitation is normally applied as a reactive process to wildfires, yet land managers in the Great Basin wish to become proactive by replacing fire-prone invasive annual grasses with native plants. The Coordinated Intermountain Restoration Project (CIRP) evolved from the Greenstripping Program to conduct research studies and provide technical assistance on restoration of native ecosystems on rangelands that are infested with invasive annual grasses or other invasive or noxious weeds. To accomplish this objective, the CIRP will promote the understanding of ecosystem disturbance dynamics as well as evaluate plant materials, site preparation techniques, weed control methods, seeding equipment, management methods, and monitoring techniques for restoration projects.
The CIRP will not address the restoration of forested or woodland (juniper [Juniperus]) ecosystems. It will include a component on fuel management to reduce the impacts of wildfires on semiarid rangeland ecosystems where exotic annual grasses provide the fuel. The people who will benefit directly from this research include land managers and users of public and private lands in the northern Great Basin, the Columbia Plateau, and the Snake River Plain. The CIRP will provide an integration framework for a multidisciplinary approach to research with numerous opportunities for input and collaboration.
The U.S. Geological Survey will initially dedicate approximately $1 million over 5 years (about $200,000 per year) to jump-start this effort. U.S. Geological Survey funds will establish a science advisory board to oversee the project. This board will contain members of Federal research and management agencies within the region. U.S. Geological Survey funds will support (1) continued development of VegSpec, a computer program that is a restoration expert system, (2) research to examine changes in ecosystem processes when native plant-dominated communities shift to communities dominated by exotic annual grasses, and (3) research to address mechanisms for establishing native plants in locations dominated by exotic annual grasses. Through these initial funds, USGS hopes to leverage additional research with other agencies (e.g., BLM?s Great Basin Restoration Initiative or the Native Plant Materials Development Project, which is an interagency program to supply and manage native plant materials for restoration and rehabilitation on Federal lands) or funding organizations (e.g., the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s [USDA] National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, or the USDA?s and U.S. Department of the Interior?s [USDOI] Joint Fire Science Program), and to obtain additional research partners (e.g., university or Federal scientists) willing to expand this effort to address all aspects of this strategic plan.
Additional publication details
Federal Government Series
Strategic Plan for the Coordinated Intermountain Restoration Project