Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Burns, Oregon » Range and Meadow Forage Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329551

Research Project: Restoring and Managing Great Basin Ecosystems

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Restoring mountain big sagebrush communities after prescribed fire in juniper encroached rangelands

Author
item Davies, Kirk
item Bates, Jonathan - Jon
item Madsen, Matthew - Brigham Young University
item Nafus, Aleta - Bureau Of Land Management

Submitted to: Oregon Agriculture Experiment Station Special Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Davies, K.W., Bates, J.D., Madsen, M.M., Nafus, A.M. 2016. Restoring mountain big sagebrush communities after prescribed fire in juniper encroached rangelands. Ecology and Hydrology of Western Juniper Range Field Day 2016. Oregon State University Special Report. p.35-39.

Interpretive Summary: Western juniper encroachment into sagebrush steppe communities has reduced livestock forage production, increased erosion and runoff risk, and degraded sagebrush-associated wildlife habitat. We evaluated seeding perennial herbaceous vegetation and sagebrush at five sites where juniper was controlled with prescribed fire. Results suggest that broadcast seeding perennial herbaceous vegetation can accelerate perennial grass recovery and stabilize the site. Our results also demonstrated that seeding mountain big sagebrush after prescribed burning juniper can rapidly recover sagebrush cover and density. Where sagebrush habitat is limited, broadcast seeding sagebrush after juniper control can rapidly recover sagebrush habitat for sagebrush-associated species.

Technical Abstract: Western juniper encroachment into sagebrush steppe communities has reduced livestock forage production, increased erosion and runoff risk, and degraded sagebrush-associated wildlife habitat. We evaluated seeding perennial herbaceous vegetation and sagebrush at five sites where juniper was controlled with prescribed fire. Results suggest that broadcast seeding perennial herbaceous vegetation can accelerate perennial grass recovery and stabilize the site. Our results also demonstrated that seeding mountain big sagebrush after prescribed burning juniper can rapidly recover sagebrush cover and density. Where sagebrush habitat is limited, broadcast seeding sagebrush after juniper control can rapidly recover sagebrush habitat for sagebrush-associated species.