Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Miles City, Montana » Livestock and Range Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #439461

Research Project: Fire Effects in Greasewood-Saline Ecological Sites in Wyoming and Montana

Location: Livestock and Range Research Laboratory

Project Number: 3030-21500-001-006-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 30, 2024

The role of fire in saline-greasewood ecological sites is largely unknown, particularly in areas with greater herbaceous biomass production due to landscape position and subsurface water dynamics. In addition, the use of fire to control greasewood may reduce the shrub dominance and enhance forage. Our objectives are to quantify vegetation responses, including perennial grass production and greasewood shrub mortality under different fire conditions in Wyoming and Montana.

In the summer of 2020, we will establish 24 plots (20x20m) at each of two locations, LREC west of UW Laramie, WY and at the USDA, ARS Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, MT. Fires will be conducted using combination mowed-wet lines (fire breaks) where lines are mowed prior to the day of burning and lines are wet ahead of ignition. Plots will be ignited using a ring-fire technique. We will establish baseline vegetation data prior to treatments and will also measure fire temperatures. We will apply 2 burn timing treatments (fall and spring) and 1 nonburned control treatment. Treatments will be replicated 8 times for a total of 24 plots at each location.