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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Reclamation of Pipeline Right-of-Ways on Rangelands

Authors
item Clements, Darin
item Young, James
item Harmon, Daniel

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2006
Publication Date: February 12, 2007
Citation: Clements, C.D., Young, J.A., Harmon, D.N. 2007. Reclamation of pipeline right-of-ways on rangelands [abstracts]. Society for Range Management Meeting, February 9-16, 2007, Reno, Nevada.

Technical Abstract: In the mid 1990s a large diameter natural gas pipeline was constructed across western Nevada. Reclamation of such right-of-ways is challenging because of both the severity and the linear nature of the disturbance. During construction, pipelines are highly visible at a landscape level to the general public. This attracts concern and reclamation suggestions from a host of interest groups. We implemented a variety of treatments (drill and broadcast seeding, mechanical or herbicidal weed control, herbivore exclusion) a wide variety of seed mixtures (native seed from the site, native seed not from the site, and non-native/native mixtures) were tested at two locations in northwestern Nevada. Both of these sites had soils derived from decomposing granite and had well developed argillic horizons. The pre-construction vegetation at both sites was basin big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/desert needlegrass (Achnatherum speciosum) plant communities. The higher elevation site (1600 m) was in good and the lower (1750 m) in poor ecological condition (different pasture closer to water). Both pastures were over 1200 ha in size and were grazed by cattle with a rest-rotation grazing system. The higher elevation site had much greater density and height of shrubs (escape cover) than the lower site. At the higher elevation site there was no establishment of seeded plant material if large (cattle, mule deer, pronghorn and free roaming horses) and small herbivores (black tailed jackrabbits) were not excluded. Obviously, you always exclude large herbivores for 2 years from rangeland seedings, but this is virtually never done on pipeline seedings because of their linear nature of the disturbance. In contrast, excellent stands of native and introduced grasses and native shrubs were obtained at the lower site even though it was grazed. In planning and applying pipeline restoration seedings, you must consider site potential, grazing management, and native animal communities.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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