December meeting features research on pinyon-juniper


The December meeting will be about collaborative watershed research projects in areas of pinyon pine and juniper and what has been learned about the effects of tree encroachment and removal treatments on understory vegetation, soil moisture, and watershed hydrology.  Devon Snyder, Rangeland Ecologist with the University of Nevada, Reno will be presenting the results of her research.

In rangelands in many areas of the western United States, pinyon pine and juniper have increased in extent in the last 100+ years because of major changes in land management, subsequent altered fire regimes, and a changing climate.  Pinyon and juniper have primarily expanded into sagebrush rangelands.  As trees infill and canopies close, there is an increase in canopy fuel loads and a reduction in understory vegetation that was historically dominated by shrubs and grass species.  Treatment of these areas to restore ecological function has become a priority for many land managers.  Tree removal treatments like hand cutting, mastication, and chaining have been typically used to reduce the risks of severe fire and improve habitat for sage-grouse, but not much is known about the effects of these trees and subsequent treatments on hydrological processes.  She will present on our collaborative watershed research projects located in central Nevada, designed to understand the effects of tree encroachment and removal treatments on understory vegetation, soil moisture, and watershed hydrology.

Devon Snyder is a Rangeland Ecologist working at the University of Nevada, Reno in the College of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Sciences.  While she originally hails from the northeast and graduated from the University of Vermont, she has been working on northern Nevada rangelands for almost seven years and now calls Reno home.  Devon worked for Great Basin Institute when she first moved to Nevada and while there, managed the Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring program for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.  From that position she transitioned to a rangeland ecology research lab at UNR.  Devon’s work has allowed her to travel extensively in Nevada, exploring rangelands and interacting with agencies, non-profits, and private landowners.  She now focuses on disturbance ecology and management of Great Basin ecosystems, particularly in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodlands.

We will also be continuing the discussion on the advisability of forming a 501c(3) (non-profit) entity to make it easier to attract funding and complete projects.

There will be no meeting in January, but the February meeting is scheduled for Tuesday February 6th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park.


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