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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335492

Research Project: Invasive Species Assessment and Control to Enhance Sustainability of Great Basin Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Practical and effective rehabilitation of rangelands: lessons learned

Author
item Clements, Darin - Charlie
item Harmon, Daniel - Dan

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2016
Publication Date: 1/29/2017
Citation: Clements, D.D., Harmon, D.N. 2017. Practical and effective rehabilitation of rangelands: lessons learned. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. 70:150.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Disturbed rangelands present significant challenges to land managers and private land owners. Controversy exists on the approach as to how to restore or rehabilitate these degraded rangelands. The proper use of plant materials and aggressive weed control practices can significantly increase the success of rehabilitation efforts on rangelands. Discing cheatgrass dominated habitats in the spring prior to cheatgrass flowering decreased cheatgrass above-ground densities by as much as 73% which contributed to an increase in seeded species success. The use of soil active herbicides controlled above-ground cheatgrass densities by as much as 98.7% and increased seeded species success by nearly 300%. Understanding that as little as 4 cheatgrass plants/ft² can outcompete perennial grass seedlings gives rise to the level of cheatgrass control needed to successfully seed perennial grasses. Understanding the role that granivorous rodents play in the harvesting and consumption of seeds is also beneficial in selecting plant materials for selected sites. Transplanting of certain shrub species, such as big sagebrush, is a method that can produce excellent results, especially if transplanted in the fall where we experienced an average of 57% success versus 28% for spring transplants. The active management of these treated lands is an ongoing effort to enhance habitats for wildlife and grazing resources.