Reducing Woody Encroachment in Grasslands: A Guide for Understanding Risk and Vulnerability


A new guide, produced through a partnership between public university extension programs in the Great Plains, the USDA-NRCS’s Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), the USDA-NRCS’s Central National Technology Support Center (CNTSC), and various other conservation partners, provides the first-ever framework for addressing woody encroachment, now recognized as one of the top two drivers of grassland loss in the Great Plains.

The guide includes an integrated four-step framework for understanding the ecological threat of woody encroachment and developing threat reduction strategies. The framework addresses the following topics:

  1. Understanding the ecology of woody plant encroachment
  2. Understanding problems of scale in grassland management
  3. Understanding risk and vulnerability and how to manage it
  4. Developing a spatial game to improve outcomes

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