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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400579

Research Project: Development of Ecological Strategies for Invasive Plant Management and Rehabilitation of Western Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Cheatgrass management: past and current paradigms

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

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2022
Publication Date: 1/4/2023
Citation: Harmon, D.N., Clements, D.D. 2023. Cheatgrass management: past and current paradigms. Meeting Abstract. 23:3.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Since the 1930’s cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has been a species of considerably interest for land managers, livestock industry, and researchers. Now nearly a century later cheatgrass continues to threaten tens of millions of hectares of Great Basin ecosystems. Based on the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP), in the past 30 years habitats negatively effected by cheatgrass have increased 4-fold in Nevada. This unprecedented landscape change poses significant challenges for restoration, wildfire threat and loss of native species. These landscape changes also pose significant risks to sustainable grazing and wildlife resources. We will present decades of rangeland restoration research, it’s current applications and the role that historical cheatgrass management perspectives played in shaping the most successful and effective cheatgrass control techniques. We will review cheatgrass herbicide control and its’ effects on competitive weed seedbanks. We will also present summarized field data from decades of restoration plant material testing throughout northern Nevada. Our research has determined the general appropriateness for seeding specific grasses, shrubs and forbs including native and introduced restoration species. We will present an outline of useable guidelines and specific actions to maximize effective strategies to rehabilitate cheatgrass dominated landscapes and manage for a more productive and sustainable natural resource base. We will demonstrate how our developed methods can reliably reduce cheatgrass and associated fuels by more than 90% and increase perennial grasses and shrubs significantly.