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. 2007. Experiencing the success and failures of rangeland restoration/revegetation [abstract]. Society for Range Management Meeting, February 9-16, 2007, Reno, Nevada. Technical Abstract: Anyone who has ever attempted to restore (native species) or revegetate (introduced species) disturbed arid rangelands knows the frustration inherent in such efforts. Exotic species such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) significantly add to the complications of such efforts. In a community dominated by cheatgrass there are numerous other exotic weed species that occur in a seral continuum, greatly complicating the weed control and revegetation process. The first rule of range weed control and seeding is to know your enemy. The second rule is to recognize there is an economic and environmental quality price to pay for failure. Rangeland seedings in the sagebrush (Artemisia)/bunchgrass zone of the Great Basin (200-300 ml precipitation) have an 80% chance of success if you do everything right. The other 20% is accounted for by the amount and periodicity of precipitation received. If you drop below 100 ml of average precipitation, you have an 80 to 90% chance of failure using the best techniques (weed control, seedbed preparation, seeding, and plant material) available. The third rule in rangeland seeding is the windows of opportunity for successful seedings are transitory. If you fail to obtain a stand of perennial plants in a wildfire restoration seeding the first year after the burn, chances for successful seeding are lost without expensive and technical weed control. This paper will address the combined experiences of over 50 years of restoration/revegetation efforts in a wide variety of plant communities (salt desert shrub to mountain brush communities) using a wide variety of methods and plant materials. These efforts come with much sweat and frustration, but also with many examples of success.