State of knowledge about energy development impacts on North American rangelands: An integrative approach.

Kreuter, U.P., Iwaasa, A.D., Theodori, G.L., Ansley, R.J., Jackson, R.B., Fraser, L.H., Naeth, M.A., McGillivray, S., and Moya, E.G. (2016). "State of knowledge about energy development impacts on North American rangelands: An integrative approach.", Journal of Environmental Management, 180, pp. 1-9. doi : 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.05.007  Access to full text

Abstract

To reduce dependence on foreign oil reserves, there has been a push in North America to develop alternative domestic energy resources. Relatively undeveloped renewable energy resources include biofuels and wind and solar energy, many of which occur predominantly on rangelands. Rangelands are also key areas for natural gas development from shales and tight sand formations. Accordingly, policies aimed at greater energy independence are likely to affect the delivery of crucial ecosystem services provided by rangelands. Assessing and dealing with the biophysical and socio-economic effects of energy development on rangeland ecosystems require an integrative and systematic approach that is predicated on a broad understanding of diverse issues related to energy development. In this article, we present a road map for developing an integrative assessment of energy development on rangelands in North America. We summarize current knowledge of socio-economic and biophysical aspects of rangeland based energy development, and we identify knowledge gaps and monitoring indicators to fill these knowledge gaps.

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