USDA Forest Service Boise Aquatic Sciences Lab - Rocky Mountain Research Station


  Shrubland Biology
Terrestrial Systems

Boise Aquatic Sciences Lab
322 East Front Street
Suite 401
Boise, ID  83702

(208) 373-4340
(208) 373-4391 (FAX)

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link



Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystem Research Program


Joint Fire Science Program:

Equipment and Strategies to Enhance the Post-wildfire Establishment and Persistence of Great Basin Native Plants



Project Summary


The cycle of annual weed invasion and wildfire has altered large expanses of western shrublands, disrupted ecosystem functioning, and increased wildfire size, intensity, and frequency.  These impacts are costly in terms of losses to native species and ecosystems, and also in risks to human life and property and wildfire-associated expenditures.  Post-fire rehabilitation provides an opportunity to stabilize and revegetate at-risk shrublands. 


This research addresses reestablishment of native vegetation after fires on arid lands.  The USDI Bureau of Land Management treats more acres and expends more funds through the Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Program (ES&R) than other agencies, and is required by Executive Orders and agency regulations to use native species where feasible.  However our ability to establish mixtures of grasses, forbs, and shrubs is limited.  This research will provide both basic and applied results on native restoration species and technology for their use. 


Project Objectives

  • Examine seeding techniques for Wyoming big sagebrush

  • Test seeding technology for for native species, particularly native forbs

  • Compare the ability of a modified rangeland drill and an experimental minimum-till drill to plant native seeds of diverse size and shapes and to reduce surface disturbance, thereby conserving residual native species and biological soil crusts, while minimizing planting of annual grass seed

  • Apply and examine use of USGS proposed ES&R monitoring protocols for gauging seeding success for both the short and long term

  • Provide plantings for long-term examination of livestock grazing on diversity in native settings

Research Components






USDA FS Rocky Mountain Research Station,

Boise, ID

  • Nancy Shaw
  • Matt Fisk


USDA FS Rocky Mountain Research Station,

Provo, UT

  • Scott Jensen


USDI Bureau of Land Management,

Boise, ID

  •  Mike Pellant



USGS Biological Research Division,

Corvallis, OR

  • David Pyke


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service,

Aberdeen, ID

  • Loren St. John
  • Boyd Simonson
  • Charlie Bair


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service,

Boise, ID

  • Dan Ogle


North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND


  • Amy Ganguli


University of Idaho

Moscow, ID

  • Beth Newingham


Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

  • Robert Cox


Truax Company, Inc.,

New Hope, MN

  • Jim Truax



Boise Shrubland Research

Fire Science Digest

Big Changes in the Great Basin


Funded By:

Joint Fire Sciences Program





USDA Forest Service - RMRS - Boise Aquatic Sciences Lab
Last Modified:  Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 11:17:27 CDT

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.