Sage grouse DNA study maps crucial mating grounds in US West

June 5, 2018
By keith ridler, associated press

BOISE, Idaho — Jun 5, 2018

Sage grouse have a vast network of mating grounds in the U.S. West akin to interconnected regional airport hubs that the imperiled species is using to maintain genetic diversity across its entire range, a DNA study has revealed. (full article)

Resistant grasses adding to farmers’ herbicide woes

May 18, 2018

Resistant Palmer amaranth or pigweed has been garnering the lion’s share of farmers’ attention in recent years.

In some ways, the focus on pigweed has allowed glyphosate-resistant grasses to become a bigger problem in the region. (link)

Western States, Wyoming Wage War On Invasive Species

April 5, 2018

They suck up millions of gallons of water, further endanger already threatened or endangered species, cost billions of dollars, undermine agriculture, affect waterways and land from plains to forests, ruin ecosystems by crowding out native species, and breed like crazy.

Invasive species swim, grow, crawl, have plagued western states for decades, affect about 100 million acres or the size of California, and breed like crazy.

And they must be stopped, the Western Governors’ Association announced Thursday.

The association published the first-ever list of the 50 worst invasive species — 25 terrestrial and 25 aquatic — affecting the west. (full article)

Cutting and leaving invasive western juniper may lead to increase in invasive grasses

March 14, 2018

March 14, 2018, Oregon State University

A new study, published in the journal Rangeland Ecology and Management, finds that in areas already overrun by juniper and non-native grasses, juniper reduction efforts alone aren’t going to be enough to restore the area, and that the problem will increase. (full article)

Wildfires will become more frequent due to rising temperatures, but study finds changes will be far from uniform

April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018, University of Missouri-Columbia

Scientists have long believed that wildfires would become more frequent as global temperatures rise, but comparatively few studies have forecast fire behavior by region. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that while wildfires in the U.S. will become more frequent overall in the future, changes will not be straightforward and uniform, as it is likely some regions will see decreases in wildfires. (full article)


Wildfire intensity impacts water quality and its treatment in forested watersheds

March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018  :American Chemical Society

The recent Thomas Fire in California was the largest wildfire in the state’s modern history. It scorched nearly 282,000 acres between December 2017 and January 2018, and serves as a reminder of how devastating such events can be. Now, researchers report that wildfires in forested watersheds can have a variable but predictable impact on the substances that are released from soils and flow into drinking water sources. The new research provides important insights for water utilities evaluating treatment options after severe wildfires. (full article)

Great Basin Fire Science Exchange 2018 Webinar Series

March 13, 2018

Moving the Needle on Cheatgrass: Putting What We Know Into Practice

This webinar series will provide information on integrated management approaches using specific strategies and proven tools. (Link)


NRCS report emphasizes need to control cheatgrass early

March 1, 2018

By GEORGE PLAVEN, Capital Press

Published on March 1, 2018

Dealing with cheatgrass may be a headache for ranchers across the West, but the earlier they can get it under control, the more it will help improve their bottom line.

That is the conclusion of a new report by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, which estimates the cost of treating invasive grasses such as cheatgrass, medusahead and ventenata at varying levels of infestation. (full article)

Achieving targeted grazing goals

January 23, 2018

Targeted grazing involves the use of specific kinds of livestock to reduce populations of certain targeted plant species and enhance the growth of the more desired plants. The knowledge base for targeted grazing has been increasing for decades and supports the use of planned grazing in addressing critical natural resource problems that exist around the globe. Animal production practices and other logistics may place constraints on how targeted grazing can be applied, therefore it is important to understand how the benefits from this practice will change due to the components of the targeted grazing strategy. (Full Article)

By Doug Warnock For the Capital Press

Western Innovator: Bacteria enlisted to battle cheatgrass

January 2, 2018

The study focuses on applying certain bacteria to cheatgrass and medusahead to inhibit the plants’ root growth. “Applying bacteria isn’t a magic bullet but one of several tools that could be used to help restore land with native vegetation,” he says. “A systemic approach is the ticket. We need to combine what we learn from this research with grazing patterns and protecting the vigor of desirable native species.” (Full Article)

By Dianna Troyer For the Capital Press

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