The Western Governors’ Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are pursuing an effort to meaningfully address the large-scale infestation of invasive annual grasses on western forests and rangelands. One product of this effort is this toolkit for land managers working to combat the spread of invasive annual grasses in the West. The toolkit is comprised of a roadmap for invasive grass management, with new best management practices; case studies highlighting the application of these practices in Idaho and Wyoming; and a new geospatial data layer (which uses analytical tools to compile existing federal data) to help state and local managers assess invasive annual grasses within their jurisdictions while also offering opportunities to identify new cross-boundary collaborative projects. The roadmap and data layer are designed for easy integration into local management plans and can be tailored by state and local managers to reflect local data, knowledge, capacities, and priorities.
An analysis of 45 years of U.S. Forest Service records from the western U.S. show that the number of large fires on Forest Service land is increasing dramatically. The area burned by these fires is also growing at an alarming rate.