Podcast: Part 1 of “Defend the Core” Strategy for Invasive Plants
WLFW’s Jeremy Maestas and Dirac Twidwell join the Art of Range podcast for part one of a two-part discussion of Defend the Core, a proactive management strategy defending sagebrush and grasslands from threats.
The Art of Range podcast talks with WLFW’s Jeremy Maestas and Dirac Twidwell about the proactive “Defend the Core” management strategy that addresses different ecosystem threats at a variety of spatial scales. Note this is part one of a two-part podcast.
Episode Title: Part 1 of “Defend the Core” Strategy for Invasive Plants
Podcast:Art of Range
Producer: Art of Range with support from Washington State University, Washington State University Western Extension Risk Management, University of Arizona, Rangelands Gateway, USDA
WLFW Experts: Jeremy Maestas, national sagebrush ecosystem specialist at the USDA-NRCS West National Technology Support Center and Dirac Twidwell, WLFW Science Advisor, professor of agronomy, University of Nebraska
Topic: “Defend the Core” strategy of proactive conservation to protect, conserve, and restore rangelands from threats like exotic grasses and woody encroachment
Air Date: February 2023
Listen Time: 49:16
Episode Description: Is it time to surrender the Western U.S. to cheatgrass and frequent fire or regroup and work smarter? Jeremy Maestas, national sagebrush ecosystem specialist at the USDA-NRCS West National Technology Support Center, and Dirac Twidwell, WLFW’s Great Plains grasslands science advisor and professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska, present the Defend the Core framework for invasive species management, a fresh approach that prioritizes preventing degradation where intact, functional plant communities exist and reducing risk of invasives spreading from areas already compromised.
After a hundred years of trying to understand invasive plant dynamics, we now recognize that “preservationist” or passive management will not return degraded plant communities to their healthy “reference” state. This episode, part 1, describes the problem and introduces this new approach to risk reduction. Be sure to come back for Part 2, where Tip, Jeremy, and Dirac discuss new proactive, management approaches that better address these threats to keep our western rangelands healthy and well-functioning.