Now Available! Online Replay Of Scientific Presentations On Woodland Expansion

patrick donnelly presenting at SRM symposium 2017

February 21, 2017

Photo: Patrick Donnelly presents his findings on conifer removal benefits for sagebrush-dependent songbirds at the Society for Range Management’s 2017 Woodland Expansion Symposium in Utah.

Watch free 20-minute presentations on how removing invading conifers boosts water availability, forage production, and grouse survival

Did you know that a woody plant invasion is threatening to take over the healthy rangelands that support birds and people alike? Luckily, now you can watch short replays on the latest conifer expansion science that shows how, where, and why to thwart the invasion!

The Society for Range Management’s (SRM) scientific journal, Rangeland Ecology & Management, just released a special issue focused entirely on this landscape-level threat. Fifteen new research papers describe the impacts encroaching woody species have on sagebrush and prairie ecosystems.

Two of these studies are summarized in the SGI’s new Science to Solutions, “Conifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success,” which shows that hens tracked in Oregon used restored habitats just four years after conifers were removed. In Utah, 86% of hens avoided conifer invaded habitats, and the birds using restored habitats were more likely to raise a brood.

Similarly, another study from the special issue confirms that removing mesquite restores habitat for lesser prairie-chickens, too.

These studies and other cutting-edge research on woodland expansion were presented at a live-streamed symposium on January 31 at the SRM’s annual conference in St. George, Utah. The symposium–watched by nearly 300 viewers online–was sponsored by SGI, SRM, and the Bureau of Land Management, and hosted by Oregon State University’s Rick Miller, an expert on conifer encroachment.

If you missed the live-stream or want to brush up on the latest conifer expansion research, here’s your chance: all 20 brief presentations are now available on YouTube here.


The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.