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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335493

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

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Importance of shrub restoration on rangelands

Author
item Clements, Darin - Charlie
item FREESE, MARK - Nevada Department Of Wildlife
item SCOTT, MIKE - Nevada Department Of Wildlife
item WHITE, JEFF - Newmont Mining Corporation
item Harmon, Daniel - Dan

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2016
Publication Date: 1/29/2017
Citation: Clements, D.D., Freese, M., Scott, M., White, J., Harmon, D.N. 2017. Importance of shrub restoration on rangelands. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. 70:167.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The recognition of brush species and the browse these plants provide as an important component of rangeland production was often overlooked in land management for some time. Even after the birth of range management in the early twentieth century, herbaceous species were considered the basic component of rangeland forage. Arthur Sampson, one of the founders of scientific range management, was among the first to describe and discuss native range shrubs as components of the basic forage supply on ranges in 1924. By 1931, USDA, Forest Service Ecologist William A. Dayton published Important Western Browse Plants. Dayton was in charge of the range forage investigation for the USDA, Forest Service when the agency published the Range Plant Handbook in 1937. By the 1940s, there was a growing concern over the use of range plants by domestic livestock and its effect on wildlife habitats, especially that for deer. In 1945, Utah State researchers L. A. Stoddart and D. I. Rasmussen entered the wildlife/livestock conflict debate with the publication Deer Management and Livestock where they shared the view that deer and domestic livestock could co-exist on the same rangelands. The debate over the influences of domestic livestock grazing on wildlife habitats is perhaps as robust and controversial as ever in the history of range management as many grazing permit renewals are challenged in court directly due to possible impacts to wildlife species such as sage grouse, mule deer, pygmy rabbits, and an array of other species. Here, we focus on two shrub species, antelope bitterbrush and big sagebrush to shed some light as to better understand methods by which to restore these critical shrub species in Great Basin plant communities.