Critical Needs and CESU Program Elements

The growing concern regarding ecosystem health in the Great Basin has been clearly outlined by the Bureau of Land Management in two publications - "Out of Ashes, An Opportunity" in November, 1999, and "The Great Basin: Healing The Land" in April, 2000. The BLM Great Basin Restoration Initiative (GBRI) was launched based on the problems and issues documented in these publications. The needs addressed in these publications proved foundational for the work of the GB CESU. Additional interests and partnerships have continued to focus attention on the Great Basin. The Great Basin Research and Management Partnership and the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative are subsequent programs that draw attention to the important issues being faced in the Great Basin. Currently the GBRI, GB CESU, GBRMP, GBEP and GBLCC collaborate in the Great Basin Consortium, an informal collaboration among partner organizations working in the Great Basin. Protection of wildlife and habitats, restoration of range and forest lands, their ecosystems and their health, management of water resources, economic health and stability of rural economies and their industries, and enhancing our understanding, appreciation and preservation of historic cultural resources pose major challenges to land management agencies in the Great Basin. Encompassing all these concerns are three overarching, transcendent themes that form the root causes of virtually all contemporary concerns and issues. They are:

  1. The rapid transformation of ecosystems and loss of associated plant and animal species across the region.
  2. The inability of users, managers, and the general public to agree on what the causal factors are driving these ecosystem changes and the lack of agreement on prudent courses of action or solutions to the resulting problems.
  3. The contrast between the scales of time and space at which Great Basin ecosystems actually operate, versus the much more limited scales of time and space at which most people view them, use them, and attempt to manage them.

The ecological health and resiliency of many important components of the Great Basin are clearly in jeopardy. Attachment A to this Strategic Plan provides a detailed description of priority research, technical assistance and education themes of concern to all partners and cooperators in the GB CESU for 2019-2021. A special emphasis will be placed on developing CESU projects across multiple university and agency partners to address critical needs of the region.

Strategic Goals

University and agency partners and cooperators of the GB CESU will collaborate to address the critical needs identified for the GB CESU in coordination with the national CESU network. The following strategic goals will guide the actions of the GB CESU until August 2021 when the GB CESU agreement will be up for renewal.  These goals complement the GB CESU objectives and provide a vision and framework for a proactive CESU in the Great Basin.

  1. Cooperate and foster efficient collaborative pathways to aid in the development and implementation of high quality research, education and technical assistance projects.
  2. Increase engagement of university researchers in federal agency projects and improve the relevancy of research in addressing management needs by ensuring that: 1) federal agency research, technical assistance and education needs are clearly articulated and communicated to university partners in a timely fashion; and 2) federal managers remain aware of available university expertise and resources to apply to federal projects.
  3. Seek opportunities for all GB CESU university and agency partners to be active participants in CESU projects.
  4. Provide encouragement for the development and implementation of effective multi-institution and multi-agency collaborations among GB CESU partners to address the critical needs identified in Attachment B.
  5. Facilitate application of scientific results to land management by ensuring that results and outcomes of GB CESU projects are made available to CESU partners and others through high visibility outreach programs.
  6. Maximize effectiveness of the GB CESU partnership by integrating CESU projects and activities with other scientific programs and collaborations in the Great Basin as part of the Great Basin Consortium
  7. Facilitate opportunities for student research, internships and education that are pertinent to the needs of management and research agencies.
  8. Develop funding to enhance GB CESU administrative support for the above activities.