Boise conference focused on preserving Great Basin environment

Great Basin landscape revegetation after cattle grazed on cheatgrass. Image: Greatbasinenvironmentalprogram.org.
Great Basin landscape revegetation after cattle grazed on cheatgrass. Image: Greatbasinenvironmentalprogram.org.

UNR researchers participate in Great Basin Consortium Conference

The Great Basin is the largest U.S. desert, spanning 200,000 square miles. University of Nevada, Reno researchers and professors are attending the annual Great Basin Consortium Conference this week at Boise State University. They are speaking on about dry land restoration, water in the Great Basin and climate.

“This meeting is an outstanding venue for researchers and ecosystem managers to create new opportunities for science to inform the management of critical ecosystems of the Great Basin in a changing climate,” said Maureen McCarthy, director of the Great Basin Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Union and executive director of the Academy for the Environment.

The Great Basin is one of four U.S. deserts that spans the majority of Nevada and extends into of California, Oregon, Utah and Idaho.

Elizabeth Leger, associate professor in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, is speaking about experiments to identify the most successful strategies for establishing native grass seedlings in the driest sites.

“There will be around 200 people at the conference, mainly environmentalists from around the Great Basin,” said Stan Johnson, director of the Great Basin Environmental Program.

The Great Basin Environmental Program’s role is to develop funding for projects, related research and outreach to improve the Great Basin environment. Johnson said the organization focuses on agriculture, particularly late season cattle grazing in regards to cheatgrass and piñon and juniper pine in the lower lands.

Johnson will give the organizational update for the Great Basin Environmental Program at the conference.

For more information, visit http://environment.unr.edu/consortium/.

SOURCE: UNR.

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Bob Conrad is proprietor and co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company (disclosure: client work includes projects funded by grants through UNR) and is an adjunct faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College.