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Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems
Contact Information
  • Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems
  • 333 Broadway SE. Suite 115
  • Albuquerque, NM 87102-3497
  • 505-724-3660
  • 505-724-3688 (fax)

Sagebrush Steppe Treatment and Evaluation Project

Project Title

Sagebrush Steppe Treatment and Evaluation Project (SageSTEP): A Test of State-and Transition Theory [Nevada Woodlands Part]


SageSTEP is a regional experiment to evaluate methods of sagebrush steppe restoration in the Great Basin. Sagebrush communities have been identified as on the most threatened land types in North America, and as much as half of this land has been lost in the Great Basin. This research is studying the effects of land management options to provide resource managers with improved information to make restoration management decisions with reduced risk and uncertainty. This project is interdisciplinary, experimental, long-term (10+ years), multisite, and multivariate. Reno is responsible for part of the woodland network of the project. Reno has four sites in Nevada that are located in sagebrush communities threatened by woodland encroachment where we been studying the effects of no management action (control), prescribed fire, and mechanical removal of the trees (chainsaw cutting). The objective has been to address the question of what is the amount of native sagebrush/bunchgrass community that needs to be present at treatment in order for natives to be able to prevent the dominance of exotic annuals. A threshold in tree dominance has been identified beyond which treatment can result in dominance by exotic annuals such as cheatgrass. This information will allow for managers to be able to improve land health before needing to conduct expensive restoration to control exotics.

Selected Publications

Marking Corral Burn, Phase II
JFS SageSETP Project
Marking Corral Burn, Early Phase II, July 2009. Treated Late August, 2006

GSD Principal Investigators

Tausch, Robin J    Research Rangeland Scientist    775-784-5329
Chambers, Jeanne C    Research Ecologist    775-784-5329

Cooperators and Sponsors

James McIver, Senior Principal Investigator, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station

Many other cooperators, see the project website and the authorship of the RMRS-GTR-237 publication.

Related Links

Sagebrush Steppe Treatment and Evaluation Project

Marking Corral Burn, Phase III
JFS SageSTEP Project
Marking Corral Burn, Phase III, July 2009. Treated Late August, 2006