HISTORY OF SAGEBRUSH MANAGEMENT: FROM WEED TO KEYSTONE SPECIES

Author: 
Davies, Kirk W.
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2018
Description: 
Shortly after the introduction of livestock into sagebrush rangelands, it was recognized that sagebrush competed with forage species.� This led to many efforts to control this �weed� to increase herbaceous vegetation for livestock.� Sagebrush was mechanically and chemically controlled as well as prescribed burned to reduce its abundance.� Sagebrush control was often coupled with seeding non-native forage grasses.� This led to millions of acres of sagebrush rangeland being converted to non-native grasslands.� However, as management focus shifted from livestock production to ecosystem services and the value of wildlife became recognized, scientists and land managers started to recognize the importance of sagebrush.� Efforts to reduce sagebrush became less common.� Following conservation concerns for sagebrush obligate wildlife species, increases in exotic annual grass, and increases in large fires in sagebrush rangelands, sagebrush conservation became a high priority.� This resulted in increased efforts to restore sagebrush after wildfires as well as increased pressure to protect sagebrush communities.� This also included efforts to control pinyon-juniper encroachment of sagebrush rangelands.� Many of these efforts to conserve and restore sagebrush rangelands have been quite valuable; however, they are limited in scale. �This is a cautionary tale of what is now considered a weed may be a keystone species in the future.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

A collection of presentation titles and abstracts from the SRM Annual Meeting and Tradeshows