Source: UNIV OF IDAHO submitted to
IMPROVING THE ECOLOGICAL SERVICES OF NEZ PERCE LANDS THROUGH AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT AND DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS.
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1024991
Grant No.
2021-67020-33419
Project No.
IDAZWalsh
Proposal No.
2020-04998
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
A1451
Project Start Date
Jan 1, 2021
Project End Date
Dec 31, 2024
Grant Year
2021
Project Director
Hudiburg, T.
Recipient Organization
UNIV OF IDAHO
875 PERIMETER DRIVE
MOSCOW,ID 83844-9803
Performing Department
Forest Rangeland and Fire Serv
Non Technical Summary
There are a multitude of issues faced by agricultural communities and landscapes that are compounded by extreme climate events. Agriculture systems can play a pivotal role in addressing these issues, through maintaining and strengthening ecosystem services that aid in climate extreme adaptation, mitigation, and socio-economic resilience. We are proposing a landscape level investigation on the agriculturally dominated Nez Perce Reservation. The investigation will focus on the development of a Framework to merge matrix ecology and regenerative agriculture practices with Traditional Ecological Knowledge in a participatory process. We will develop and implement a synergistic collaboration of agricultural extension agents, local/regional producers, and Tribal natural resource managers. Through their cooperative expertise of the land, local agriculture, ecological habitat, and cultural values: specific agriculture and resource management practices will be implemented and tested on parcels across the Reservation. The final products from the evaluation will be: 1) a decision support tool (Agricultural Climate Smart Toolkit) to aid local producers and land managers; 2) the exhibition of local Traditional Ecological Knowledge; and 3) a functional Framework that engages local stakeholders to collaborate on agriculture research and implementation. This proposed merged Framework of practices and collaborators is the development and assessment of a new management practice that will improve ecosystem services (climate and cultural resiliency of the agricultural system, improve soil health, improve wildlife habitat, and increase landscape connectivity) while addressing the interaction of the human and environmental dimensions.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
50%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1120199107050%
1120199205050%
Goals / Objectives
GoalsThe entire project Framework is intended to support several of the "sustainable agriculture" long-term goals of: enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; integrate where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; and sustain the economic viability of farm operations. We will use the Framework to work towards achieving these overarching "sustainable agriculture" goals through research and implementation of regenerative agriculture practices best suited for the local region to improve ecosystem services (soil quality, water retention on the landscape, native vegetation and pollinator diversity, hunter/gatherer habitat, and landscape connectivity) and productivity outcomes for producers. This Framework upon full implementation will enhance ecosystem health and quality, support producers' personal and economic goals, improve landscape resiliency, build lasting collaborative relationships between local stakeholders and the Tribe, improve the cultural resiliency of the Tribe by addressing culturally relevant ecosystem service, and bring Traditional Ecological Knowledge to the local land stewards. The Framework being proposed is in response to the following long-term (decadal) goals for the Nez Perce Tribe's lands:Expand upon existing technical support for producers with cross-sectoral collaboration to address current challenges with new knowledge sharing, partnerships, and peer to peer learning amongst producers, extension agents, soil conservation districts, agriculture scientists, ecologists, and tribal professionals.Inform regenerative agriculture practices with Traditional Ecological Knowledge.Implement collaborator driven regenerative agriculture research and on-farm field trials with cross-sectoral experts and producers.Lower the barriers for producers to implement practices via funding assistance, policy initiatives, research, and other supportive conduits.Objectives:Build the participatory Framework that will bring the two themes together (practices and collaboration) to implement regenerative agriculture practices in a controlled research programImplement the Framework to research the regenerative agriculture practices that produce the desired ecosystem services in the regionEvaluate the Framework by using the observations of building (social science) and implementing (agro-ecological) the Framework to further enhance the Framework's social-ecological structure
Project Methods
MethodsFramework Building phase: The Framework will guide the participatory processes and practices that bring the collaborators together to leverage regenerative agriculture, TEK, and Tribal Lands. The Framework will be the foundation to implementing this and future research, and it differs slightly from the alternative or more traditional approach of individual researchers identifying research opportunities, selecting methodology, and implementing treatments in a system. This traditional process is largely in parallel to the stakeholder community sphere that is being directly or indirectly impacted by the research outcomes. We are taking a similar approach except fully integrating the stakeholder community in the research, i.e., participatory process, by having them provide direct input in the opportunity and methodology steps. We are implementing research prescriptions while additionally engaging a network of technical experts and land managers/owners to collaborate and have ownership of the process. This is to create the transformative learning environment and create an opportunity to accept the findings of the research, effect the personal sphere of the stakeholders, and increase future implementation of the best regional practices at the landscape scale.The Framework will be developed by the Co-PI in collaboration with the Tribe, through a series of initial meetings at the commencement of the project. These in-person large group, small group, virtual, and interpersonal meetings will be used to bring the collaborators together during the Framework Building Phase. This phase will first, identify an initial set of guidelines within the practices, and then second, assign practices to the research sites that will best suit the needs and goals of the Tribe and landowners, while staying within the guidelines of the practices. The sample guidelines (Table 1) of Regenerative Agriculture, TEK, and Tribal Lands will be used to prime the initial process of establishing a set that are relevant at the regional and individual parcels scale. We anticipate approximately two in-person meetings several hours in length (likely at the Tribe) with all participants. Subsequent meetings will be a mix of virtual, small group onsite, and individual Co-PI/collaborator offsite meetings.The assignment of agriculture practices and establishment of research methodologies that will meet the established guidelines and alter the response of ecosystem services will require an initial set of pre-identified parcels. We have identified several locations owned by the Tribe within and adjacent to the Reservation that will be available for the proposed research. The specifics of location and land management history cannot be disclosed, because of the sensitive information associated with the lands. Generally, the total lands available are approximately 3053 ha and encompass legacy rangeland and cropland land use. Many of the parcels are located strategically between areas of increased landscape resiliency, thus providing the opportunity to address biodiversity, pollinator, indigenous vegetation, and soil degradation ecosystem services weaknesses within the larger landscape. Though we have not specifically outlined what research implementations will be assigned to specific locations, this is mostly due to the nature of available Tribal lands and the dynamics associated with leases and producers. However, we are highly confident and have the support of the Tribe that we will have access to significant parcels, collaborators, prescriptions, and equipment to carry out the research.Framework Implementation Phase:Post Framework development and research practice determination, we will implement the prescriptions on study plots across the identified parcels. The exact study design will be determined by the input of the extension agents and Tribal resource managers that have extensive technical knowledge in this area. We have access to currently active data collection activities, equipment, and support within the Tribe and our University Lab. The base study design of the project is to implement a minimum research prescription located in a grassland system and one in a crop system with a general study design of between years pre-and post-treatment or within year treatment-control plots to evaluate changes in the ecosystem services. We intend to use the hired research technician to support technical data collection not conducted by the Tribe or collaborators. This includes pollinator, vegetation, soil sampling, and other survey activities. The Wildlife Division of the Tribe is experienced in pollinator data collection and will provide expertise input on the protocols and implementation. The Water Resources Division of the Tribe conducts flow and nutrient assessments in may watersheds across the Reservation, we will associate our research implementations in their collection basins to leverage their data collection and inform our research questions. Vegetation surveys will also be conducted on the treatments to test for differences in species composition, diversity, and spatial distribution. If warranted, the Co-PIs and Tribe's professional staff will implement point count bird surveys across treatments according to established protocols and their professional experience. We have the capacity to support any data collection activities implemented in accordance with the research needs of the project.??Framework Evaluation Phase:At the end of each budget year, the PI and Co-PIs will review the work to date and assess where the opportunities are moving forward and what actions are necessary to address and mitigate barriers. A strategic assessment of the project is necessary on a minimum yearly basis, because the Framework and collaboration efforts are so integral to the success of the project. Assessment will focus on two main areas, the social-ecological function of the Framework, and the agro-ecological research and study design. To address the social-ecological functioning of the Framework, the PI and Co-PIs will evaluate the success of the collaboration efforts at establishing guidelines, identifying agro-ecological research opportunities in the local system, maintaining participation among collaborators, and transitioning the process from the Building Phase to the Implementation Phase. As an example of the outcomes of the social-ecological evaluation, we will identify additional collaborators (e.g, agro-economists, NRCS personnel, regional agriculture researchers), replacement of collaborators, and funding opportunities. We will specifically contact each collaborator each year with a questionnaire to evaluate the the perception of progress and direction of the project along with concerns and opportunities that may emerge. For the implementation evaluation, we will review parcels of land coming online, parcels of land no longer available for the research, research implementation failures/success, equipment needs, equipment sources, timing of field activities, etc. We have specifically identified a period within each project year to address this work and produce a review report. However, fundamentally this work will happen at a baseline level throughout the entire project.

Progress 01/01/22 to 12/31/22

Outputs
Target Audience:In the project's secondyear, we interacted with Nez Perce Tribe resource managers, members, and farmers leasing NPT land. We worked with non-tribal agricultural producers, county soil and water conservation agents, state soil and water conservation agents, and University of Idaho extension agents. Through these interactions, we held: a second workshop on climate-smart agriculture for Tribal leaders and members; meetings on manure management and research with UI extension agents, county soil and water conservation district personnel, and agricultural producers; meetings on cover crop systems with UI extension agents and agricultural producers. We met with two landowners/farmers on NPT land and begin our experiments. Tribal members were involved in both the design and execution of the research implementation. Changes/Problems:Covid continued to affect theimplementation plan of this project. We were unable to host in-person meetings with our targeted stakeholder group, which impacted the participation goals of the project. To accommodate this implementation change, we held virtual meetings with a smaller number of stakeholders on more limited topics than originally intended. We continued tolimitour in person field visits with producers and Tribe resource managers to minimize risks. However, we are very happy to report that we were able to implement one of the research projects on producer lands. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?The research (Framework) implementation project allowed for training of one postdoctoral researcher and two tribal members in: 1) Installation of a common-garden experiment 2) Baseline soil biogeochemistry measurements 3) Communication, outreach, and collaboration with producers and practitioners in regenerative agricultural practices How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?1. Walsh, E.S. and K. Bartowitz2022. SY45B: Advances in Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Assessment and ApplicationDecember, 2022AGU Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL. 2. Hudiburg, T., Mathias, J., Walsh, E., and Krantz. S. Climate-smart agriculture on Nez Perce lands. Inter-tribal Ag Council and Conference, Pendleton, ORSeptember, 2022 What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We plan to implement the following in 2023: • Monitor and measurethe manure and cover crop trial research. • We will continute to recruit a producer that is implementing regenerative agriculture practices and survey the traditional foods on their land. We have two candidates, but COVID has delayed this part of the research.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Our primary accomplisment was that we implemented a multi-factor, common garden experiment on 5 acres of farmland on the Nez Perce Reservation. The experiment includes 5 manure treatments and 5 cover-crop treatments. We took baseline soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial biomass samples (being processed). This implementaton meets Objective 2 (implement the Framework) and completes Objective 1 (bring the communities together for implementation). The traditional food survey was completed and results will be used to guide implementation of a trial traditional foods common-garden experiment on Nez Perce land.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Yang, P., Cai, X., Hu, X., Zhao, Q., Lee, Y., Khanna, M., Cort�s-Pe�a, Y.R., Guest, J.S., Kent, J., Hudiburg, T.W. and Du, E., 2022. An agent-based modeling tool supporting bioenergy and bio-product community communication regarding cellulosic bioeconomy development. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 167, p.112745.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Juice, S.M., Walter, C.A., Allen, K.E., Berardi, D.M., Hudiburg, T.W., Sulman, B.N. and Brzostek, E.R., 2022. A new bioenergy model that simulates the impacts of plant?microbial interactions, soil carbon protection, and mechanistic tillage on soil carbon cycling. GCB Bioenergy, 14(3), pp.346-363.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Other Year Published: 2022 Citation: Hudiburg, T., Krantz, S., Mathias, J., and E. Walsh. "Climate-smart agriculture on Nez Perce lands", PNW Inter-tribal Ag Council. Pendleton, OR, September 2022.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Other Year Published: 2022 Citation: Walsh, E., and K. Bartowitz. Advances in Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Assessment and Application. SY45B. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Chicago IL, December 2022


Progress 01/01/21 to 12/31/21

Outputs
Target Audience:In the project's first year, we interacted with Nez Perce Tribe resource managers and members. We worked with non-tribal agricultural producers, county soil and water conservation agents, state soil and water conservation agents, and University of Idaho extension agents. Through these interactions, we held: a workshop on climate-smart agriculture for Tribal leaders and members; meetings on manure management and research with UI extension agents, county soil and water conservation district personnel, and agricultural producers; meetings on cover crop systems with UI extension agents and agricultural producers; field visits on agricultural lands restoration with state and county soil and water conservation personnel; and traditional foods plant survey and monitoring with outreach to producers to discuss ways of improving traditional foods habitat. Changes/Problems:Covid impacted the original implementation plan of this project. We were unable to host in-person meetings with our targeted stakeholder group, which impacted the participation goals of the project. To accommodate this implementation change, we held virtual meetings with a smaller number of stakeholders on more limited topics than originally intended. We limited our in-person field visits with producers and Tribe resource managers to minimize risks. We also had to adjust field visits and work in the late summer of 2021 because of wildfire events and the risks associated with some of the field sites. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?We connected Nez Perce Tribe resource managers with state soil and water conservation personnel to evaluate soil health and consult on restorative activities on agricultural working lands. We connected agricultural producers with University of Idaho extension agents, state and county soil and water conservation agents to advise on manure management and cover crop implementations. We participated in a Nez Perce Tribe conference on agriculture where we presented and discussed the opportunities for regenerative agriculture implementation across their Reservation. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We gave two presentations and published a storymap to communicate parts of this project: Walsh, E.S. and S. Krantz. 2021. The Nez Perce Tribe and Agriculture: Planning for a Climate Smart Agriculture Future. ArcGIS Story Map. https://arcg.is/X8P1G Walsh, E.S. 2021. Agriculture vulnerability assessment of the Nez Perce Tribe: Introduction to climate smart agriculture. Nez Perce Tribe Climate Change Workshop. Oct. 20, 2021. Clearwater River Casino- Miiyoxit Conference Room Walsh, E.S. 2021. Improving the ecological services of Nez Perce lands through agriculture management and decision support tools. Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences IBEST Lunch Series. March 4, 2021. https://tinyurl.com/3xvkd2zc What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We plan to implement the following in 2022: Implement the manure trial research. Implement the traditional foods survey Recruit a producer that is implementing regenerative agriculture practices and survey the traditional foods on their lands Implement field analyses to baseline the restorative transition of agricultural lands to native prairie

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We accomplished in 2021 the following stated goals: Expand upon existing technical support for producers with cross-sectoral collaboration to address current challenges with new knowledge sharing, partnerships, and peer to peer learning amongst producers, extension agents, soil conservation districts, agriculture scientists, ecologists, and tribal professionals Implement collaborator-driven regenerative agriculture research and on-farm field trials with cross-sectoral experts and producers. Lower the barriers for producers to implement practices via funding assistance, policy initiatives, research, and other supportive conduits.

Publications

  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2021 Citation: Walsh E.S., Krantz S., Hudiburg T.W. 2021. A climate-smart situational analysis of the Nez Perce Tribe geographic region. Report to the Nez Perce Tribe and Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Type: Websites Status: Published Year Published: 2021 Citation: Walsh, E.S. and S. Krantz. 2021. The Nez Perce Tribe and Agriculture: Planning for a Climate Smart Agriculture Future. ArcGIS Story Map. https://arcg.is/X8P1G
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Other Year Published: 2021 Citation: Walsh, E.S. 2021. Agriculture vulnerability assessment of the Nez Perce Tribe: Introduction to climate smart agriculture. Nez Perce Tribe Climate Change Workshop. Oct. 20, 2021. Clearwater River Casino Miiyoxit Conference Room
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Other Year Published: 2021 Citation: Walsh, E.S. 2021. Improving the ecological services of Nez Perce lands through agriculture management and decision support tools. Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences IBEST Lunch Series. March 4, 2021. https://tinyurl.com/3xvkd2zc