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Reducing Woody Encroachment in Grasslands: A Vulnerability-Based Approach

April 10 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Did you know that woody encroachment is one of the top two drivers of grassland loss in the Great Plains? Encroachment by species like eastern redcedar reduces forage production by up to 75% in grasslands and can result in consequences to food production, freshwater supply, grassland biodiversity, ranching profitability, and the regulation of wildfire danger, human respiratory health, and vector-borne disease transmission. New rangeland monitoring data shows that woody encroachment is occurring in grasslands with no prior history of encroachment. Past management has followed a reactive approach and has been unable to halt large-scale grassland losses. In this presentation, Dr. Dillon Fogarty will present on new science-based guidance for reducing woody encroachment in grasslands. New guidelines are built around a framework for reducing grassland vulnerability to encroachment and have been adopted by local, state, and national conservation initiatives like the Great Plains Grassland Initiative (GPGI). In Nebraska, conservation practitioners estimate that new guidance saves between $25-500 per acre compared to past guidance for brush management.



Dr. Dillon Fogarty is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research and extension focus on the ecology and management of woody plant invasions. Dr. Fogarty coordinates the Great Plains Grasslands Extension Partnership, which is comprised of rangeland scientists from every land-grant university in the Great Plains. The Extension Partnership exists to develop and distribute the information, resources, and tools needed to improve grassland conservation and scale up the adoption of science-based solutions

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