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322 East Front Street
Boise, ID, 83702
United States

208-373-4344

Providing the knowledge and technology required to improve the availability of native plant materials for restoring diverse native plant communities across the Great Basin.

2015 Restoration Strategies & Equipment

Restoring Sagebrush After Large Wildfires: An Evaluation of Different Restoration Methods Across a Large Elevation Gradient
Kirk Davies

We propose to compare different sagebrush restoration methods (broadcast seeding, broadcast seeding and packing, planting sagebrush seedlings, seed pillows, and natural recovery) across elevation gradients ranging from 1219 to 2134 m (4000 to 7000 ft) in the Holloway and Long Draw Fires in Nevada and Oregon, where approximately one million acres of sagebrush rangeland burned in 2012 in Oregon and Nevada. We will replicate all treatments at 35 different sites in two different years resulting in 350 treatment plots. We will correlate restoration success of the different methods with environmental/site characteristics and annual climatic conditions. This will allow us to determine what methods are the most effective and efficient to use at different locations based on site factors and how results vary with different climatic conditions. We will also test the applicability of seed pillow technology across a broad range of site characteristics. This information will help land managers successfully and efficiently restore sagebrush habitat after large wildfires by pairing restoration methods with site characteristics. Correctly pairing restoration technique and probability of success with environmental constraints will allow land managers to best array these techniques across heterogeneous landscapes in the most cost efficient manner.

Objectives:

  •  determine where different post-fire sagebrush restoration methods should be applied based on environmental characteristics to efficiently and effectively restore sagebrush
  • evaluate newly developed technologies to restore sagebrush steppe habitat

We hypothesize that:

  • Natural recovery and seeding sagebrush will be more successful as elevation increases
  • Improving soil-seed contact by using a roller-packer after seeding sagebrush will improve seeding success
  • At lower elevations, seed pillows and planting seedlings will be more successful than other methods at establishing sagebrush