Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Alternative Weed Management Strategies for Three Montana Landscapes
Brad Bauer, Leonardo Frid (presenter) , David Hanna, Nathan Korb, Katy Bryan, Brian Martin, Brett Holzer
ESSA Technologies Ltd.; The Nature Conservancy, Montana; Private
Invasive plant species management at the landscape scale in the Western U.S. is generally based on fine-scale experience and arbitrary decisions (“rules of thumb”) with limited understanding of long-term outcomes across broad areas or over long periods. In order to develop the best strategies to maintain landscape values and prevent the spread of invaders, quantitative tools are needed to compare the effectiveness of various management strategies at different spatial scales and over several decades. We used TELSA to model the spread of invasive species at the landscape scale for three Montana landscapes. Using TELSA allowed the comparison of several management strategies under a variety of budget constraints to evaluate the long-term advantages of different approaches to native plant communities, identify appropriate resource allocation levels to maximize benefit, and assess costs and benefits of strategies within an economic analysis framework. The model results provide a tool to guide real-world decision making across large landscapes.