Date of this Version
Final Report for Project 09-S-02-1
Federal land management agencies have invested heavily in seeding vegetation for emergency stabilization and rehabilitation (ES&R) of non-forested lands. ES&R projects are implemented to reduce post-fire dominance of non-native annual grasses, minimize probability of recurrent fire, quickly recover lost habitat for sensitive species, and ultimately result in plant communities with desirable characteristics including resistance to invasive species and resilience or ability to recover following disturbance. Land managers lack scientific evidence to verify whether seeding non-forested lands achieves their desired long-term ES&R objectives. The overall objective of our investigation is to determine if ES&R projects increase perennial plant cover, improve community composition, decrease invasive annual plant cover and result in a more desirable fuel structure relative to no treatment following fires while potentially providing habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse, a species of management concern. In addition, we provide the locations and baseline vegetation data for further studies relating to ES&R project impacts. We examined effects of seeding treatments (drill and broadcast) vs. no seeding on biotic and abiotic (bare ground and litter) variables for the dominant climate regimes and ecological types within the Great Basin. We attempted to determine seeding effectiveness to provide desired plant species cover while restricting non-native annual grass cover relative to post-treatment precipitation, post-treatment grazing level and time-since-seeding. Seedings were randomly sampled from all known post-fire seedings that occurred in the four-state area of Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. Sampling locations were stratified by major land resource area, precipitation, and loam-dominated soils to ensure an adequate spread of locations to provide inference of our findings to similar lands throughout the Great Basin.
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