Great Basin Sagebrush Restoration Fund

The Challenge

Sagebrush ecosystems in the United States have eroded to about 56% of their historical range due to land degradation, especially from wildfire and invasive species propagation. These ecosystems provide vital habitat for many iconic species found in the west. The sagebrush ecosystem is one of the most imperiled in the United States. Therefore, it is critical that resource developers ensure their projects are restorative to this vitally important habitat. To date, rehabilitation efforts are proving to be costly and do not always provide intended results. There is opportunity to improve the efficacy and success of rehabilitation efforts.

Research and Development Fund

Lithium Americas Corp. has recently established the ‘Great Basin Sagebrush Restoration Fund’ (GBSR Fund) with the University of Nevada Foundation (UNR Foundation). The purpose of the GBSR Fund is to advance research and development towards improved, cost-effective restoration of degraded sagebrush rangelands. The team assembled by lead researcher Dr. Tamzen Stringham includes esteemed colleagues from UNR and other institutions with diverse backgrounds in plant community and landscape ecology, bioengineering, and wildlife biology. The diversity of experts will combine to engineer efficient, technology-driven solutions to rangeland rehabilitation.

Benefit

This knowledge will benefit rangeland rehabilitation efforts by improving the effectiveness of rehabilitation techniques at the project and across landscapes. The GBSR Fund intends to share and spread knowledge through peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, workshops and conferences. Such knowledge can then be deployed by resource managers, mine and energy operators, conservationists and ranchers to maximize returns on rehabilitation investment.

More Funding is Needed

Lithium Americas Corp. has provided the seed funding to kick-start key priorities in advanced seed technology, with the intent to improve sagebrush seed germination and plant establishment efficacy. However, the research objectives that the GBSR Fund intends to explore is more expansive, and includes, for example, predictive rehabilitation modelling, advanced habitat mapping/monitoring utilizing remote sensing acquired through drone technology and other pragmatic solutions that are aimed to improve the return on habitat rehabilitation investments. The GBSR Fund needs more funding to advance these research opportunities.

The GBSR Fund has a view to rapidly grow and advance the knowledge base related to sage grouse habitat restoration. We intend to create the largest sagebrush rehabilitation research fund in the world, and we encourage partners with a shared interest and vision to participate in this mission.


To learn more about the GBSR Fund, please contact either:

Tamzen K. Stringham, Ph.D.
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno / MS 202
Reno, Nevada 89557
775-784-6755 (office)
tstringham@cabnr.unr.edu
Alexi Zawadzki
President of North American Operations
Lithium Americas Corp.
3685 Lakeside Drive
Reno, Nevada 89509
www.lithiumamericas.com
alexi.zawadzki@lithiumamericas.com

To make a donation to the fund, please contact Ralph Phillips, rphillips@unr.edu or 775-784-4390 or to give online by credit card use this link.

The University of Nevada, Reno Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization (TIN: 94-2781749) separate from the University of Nevada, Reno. The Foundation was incorporated in 1981 to provide a mechanism for private individuals, corporations and foundations to make charitable gifts to the University.