This is a part of the 2015 Fall VPS. For more VPS articles, click here
Category: Assessing Human Risk
Project Team: Southeast Idaho Disasters
Team Location: BLM at Idaho State University GIS TReC – Pocatello, Idaho
Keith Weber (Idaho State University GIS TReC)
Mark Carroll (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
John Schnase (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
The expansion of junipers from their original rocky terrain into herbaceous communities has altered fire regimes and increased fire intensity not only in Idaho but throughout the Great Basin and Intermountain West. As junipers are actively expanding they begin to co-dominate communities resulting in the die-off of shrubs, grasses, and forbs. This expansion alters many habitat structures, effects soil erosion rates, human life and property, and other species such as the threatened Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Land Management agencies have a strong desire to find areas that are vulnerable to juniper encroachment so that these areas can be studied and effectively managed. Juniper classification maps and models created through this project assisted these agencies in management practices. These results incorporate Landsat and orthophotography with varying resolutions which were used in encroachment and density models.