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Values Mapping for Sagebrush in Idaho

Idaho landscape featuring sagebrush and grasses, with foothills in the background
Photo Credit: Haley Netherton-Morrison


With changes occurring in both the sagebrush landscapes and human populations in Idaho, members of the GEM3 Stakeholder Advisory Groups (SAGs) have identified a need to bridge the gap in the ecological and economic data available in their communities. The values mapping project responds to this need by exploring and mapping the diversity of perspectives about sagebrush in the state of Idaho. Values can be understood as the deeply-rooted building blocks that inform our attitudes, actions, choices, and more. Through understanding what values exist and where they exist on the landscape, regional land use planners and managers will be better equipped to tailor decisions to local needs and identify areas of collaboration and conflict.

Project Highlights

  • Emerged from stakeholders’ desire to spatially assess Idahoans’ evaluations of sagebrush steppe in order to identify areas of shared and conflicting values
  • Developing a typology of values that better reflects the values Idahoans hold for sagebrush landscapes through interviews and Q methodology
  • Investigating the patterns in values for sagebrush landscapes, as well as preferences for management and perceived threats using interviews and a statewide survey
  • Mapping values to understand where points of convergence and divergence occur on the landscape to inform regional land use planning decisions that support sustainability of sagebrush landscapes and rural livelihoods
  • Collaborating with the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission on the statewide survey to continue their longitudinal work to understand attitudes toward Idaho’s rangelands, supporting rangelands management and educational efforts


Haley Netherton-Morrison, Boise State University

Kelly Hopping, Boise State University

Morey Burnham, Idaho State University

Rebecca Som Castellano, Boise State University

Matt Williamson, Boise State University

J.D. Wulfhorst, University of Idaho

Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission

Links and More Information

Click here for an Idaho EPSCoR E-News article about the project.

Click here to learn more about the GEM3 project.

Click here to learn more about the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission.


This project is supported by the NSF Idaho EPSCoR Program and by the National Science Foundation under award number OIA-1757324.  The statewide survey of the Values Mapping Project is also supported through our partnership with the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission.

Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission

GEM 3 Genes by Environment - modeling, mechanisms, mapping Idaho EPSCoR