|PRATHER, TIM - University Of Idaho|
|TANKA, JOHN - University Of Wyoming|
Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2013
Publication Date: 7/1/2013
Citation: Smith, B.S., Monaco, T.A., Hardegree, S.P., Prather, T., Tanka, J. 2013. Owyhee initiative science guide series #11: Managing annual grass abundance with restoration and grazing management. Extension Publications. Government Publication.
Interpretive Summary: This guide was designed to aid ranchers and land managers to make decisions that will be effective on the ground and survive litigation challenges. We discuss the implications of grazing and opportunities for management for restoring rangelands with annual grass infestations. Our primary audience is land managers and ranchers in the Great Basin.
Technical Abstract: Annual grasses pose unique challenges to semi-arid grasslands, steppe, and shrublands of western North America. These challenges largely stem from adaptive traits of the annual life form and disturbance regimes that now dictate site dynamics of the invaded alternative steady states. Given the lack of local restoration success in many areas, and current trend to abandon restoration efforts in areas receiving less than 10" of annual precipitation, management of cheatgrass as a forage source needs to be considered as a practical management application. Annual grass affected rangeland systems are dynamic, highly variable, and relatively unique on a site-by-site basis. Rangeland restoration planning and management, therefore, must recognize the causes of succession and focus on the ecological processes that are amenable to management. In this guide we discuss general restoration management, use of grazing in support of restoration management, and grazing options for annual grasses under conditions when restoration management is not a current option.