Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2006
Publication Date: 2/12/2007
Citation: Clements, C.D., Harmon, D.N., Young, J.A. 2007. Reclamation efforts at the Lockwood Landfill Station [abstracts]. Society for Range Management Meeting, February 9-16, 2007, Reno, Nevada.
Technical Abstract: The reclamation of disturbed arid rangelands is a monumental task under the best of conditions. The Lockwood Landfill located 17 km east of Reno, Nevada is a Regional Landfill of some 8800 ha in area. This landfill services all of northern Nevada as well as much of northern California. Returning land after solid waste is buried back to use as wildlife habitat, livestock grazing, and recreational activities is the goal of the landfill management. We were invited to conduct research on cost effective treatments to restore desirable vegetative cover to prevent accelerated erosion and prevent dominance of invasive exotic weeds. Previous expensive reclamation attempts had resulted in nearly complete failures. The landfill is located in an arid environment (annual precipitation 125 mm). The pre-disturbance vegetation was Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis) and shadscale (Atriplex canescens) with an understory of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides), and Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides). The completed landfills have no developed soil profiles. The slopes (20 to 45%) are finished with a fine sand to silt textured volcanic tephra mined from buried deposits. We implemented drill and broadcast seeding, and transplanting with a variety of plant materials in an effort to get plants established in this harsh environment. Drill seeding and broadcast seeding resulted in germination and initial seedling growth, but the wind erosion of the volcanic tephra cut the seedlings at the soil surface. This tephra has not been weathered so the margins of the particles are glass sharp. Transplanting of 1 year old plant material was successful. Success rates of Wyoming big sagebrush (90%), shadscale (70%), four wing saltbush (Atriplex confertifolia) (68%), and 'Immigrant' forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) (60%) were recorded.