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David Augustine, an ARS ecologist at the RRRU laboratory in Fort Collins, Colorado, and colleagues--in collaboration with state, federal, and university researchers--have results from several studies over the past 13 years showing that fire, prairie dogs, and cattle together maintain a mosaic of diverse vegetation, with varying heights, that supports a variety of wildlife as well as beefing up cattle.
The RRRU is a three-location unit that spans two states--Wyoming and Colorado--and two major native grassland ecosystems of the western Great Plains: northern mixed-grass prairie, where the unit headquarters (High Plains Grasslands Research Station) is located on 2,870 acres near Cheyenne, Wyoming, and shortgrass steppe, where the unit has its 15,500-acre Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER).
BLM is helping fund cooperative research with RRRU in Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho.
The RRRU work started 6 years ago, after Booth attended a seminar and discussed innovations in rangeland monitoring techniques with BLM colleagues.
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