Sagebrush ecosystems burnResulting in spread and transition to cheatgrass dominated landscapes
Use cattle to remove fine fuels in order to begin restoration processIm
The GIP Coordinators were asked to look into large scale properties that were managed by a single entity that are predominately cheatgrass and have a high fire frequency. This area is Managed by Ensign located in Skull Valley in Tooele County
Pic 1- The areas in Yellow were identified as areas of High Priority either because of fire frequency or identified important structuresPic 2- This picture gets a little busy. The blue lines are current pipelines, Red line is fences and the grey lines are roads. We looked at all of these existing structures plus important buildings and designed firebreaks to create approximately 10,000 acre “pastures”Pic 3- Shows the designed firebreaks and “pastures”
* Grazing B. tectorum may allow for native or non-native desirable plants to be seeded into the site and establish with reduced competitive pressure from B. tectorum. Targeted grazing of B. tectorum-dominated sites can be applied as a first step in breaking the cheatgrass/fire cycle via removal of fire disturbance.*Cheatgrass (Bromustectorum)-dominated communities can remain as stable states for long periods, even with frequent disturbance by grazing and fire. However, properly timed (targeted) grazing and prescribed burning can modify seed dispersal and storage, site availability for establishment, and species performance, possibly directing the trajectory of succession to a more desirable community.*In order to create fuel breaks or prepare seedbeds on larger areas, an operator would have to consider how to manipulate a large herd or several small herds to defoliate plants twice during the boot stage. This would include consideration of fencing and water requirements, animal movement patterns, and animal behavior at high stocking density for several weeks. By grazing for two consecutive years, we were able to reduce B. tectorum seed bank densities further than by grazing for just one year.*Defoliation effectiveness could be improved by increasing the defoliation intensity, repeating the defoliation for at least 2 years, and/or using an integrated weed management approach with other control methods such as herbicide application or prescribed burning.
This study showed that defoliation was equally effective when comparing grazing and herbicide. This cost table is based on weight gain during the time the animals were grazing the cheagrass pastures and the market value that would in turn bring a profit. The analysis was done based on the biomass availability at five different levels during 3 different grazing periods High-Moderate-Low, Moderate-Low-Moderate, Moderate-Moderate-Low, Low-Moderate-Low and Low-Low-Low. A negative value indicates the cost effectiveness exceeds the input costs for this individual study which included materials and labor, and a profit was made.
Transcript of "Prescriptive grazing for fire control by Ashley Hansen"
Prescriptive Grazing for
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
Grazing Improvement Program
Identify “High Risk” areas and/or structures
Use existing structures (roads, pipeline, fences) to plan
fire breaks that are approximately ½ mile wide
Creating 10,000 acre “pastures” between fire breaks
Use temporary structures (Electric fence, temporary
troughs, water trucks, supplement) to hold high
densities of cattle to remove fine fuels.
Rehabilitate cheatgrass “pastures” between fire breaks
Reseeding of grazed areas with fire resistant seed types
would be key, in some instances Plateau or other
chemicals may be needed.
Use current permitted animals to heavily graze firebreak
areas using electric fence, temporary water, supplement
Some NEPA would be required because in most cases we
would be changing the timing of grazing from what the
Team to review range conditions
BLM, GIP,vExtension, Ranchers,
Monitoring and control of livestock
Permitted Rancher responsibility
Full time herder may be required
Funding for fence, seed, and chemical would be available
Joel M. Diamond, USU 2009 PhD Dissertation
Effects of Targeted Grazing and Prescribed Burining on Fire Behaviou
and Community Dynamics of a Cheatgrass
Targeted grazing of large blocks and strips could be used as the
initial step in the revegetation of cheatgrass-dominated sites.
Timed grazing can alter the stable state of a cheatgrass
High Intensity grazing can reduce seed bank densities
Integrated weed management practices such as herbicide and
burning could be used with grazing
Study Cont. Cost Effectiveness
The creation of fuel breaks with livestock grazing or
herbicides may be an effective way to not only protect
remnant native vegetation but also prepare seed beds
for revegetation. The economic impacts of these
changes, in terms of fire suppression and rehabilitation
are great, and thus, management techniques must be
evaluated for their cost effectiveness
Create firebreaks using cattle to reduce fine fuels
Creates barriers to better contain fires within a largescale
cheatgrass dominated area
Utilize existing resources (cattle) to reduce cost of
implementing fire breaks and rehabilitation
Rehabilitate individual “pastures” in phases using
hearty/fire resilient vegetation.
Ultimately create fire resilient vegetation communities to
reduce cost of fire containment in areas of frequent fire
Use cattle as the primary tool in the restoration process