Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication
RMRS-RP-40: Countering Misinformation Concerning Big Sagebrush

Welch, Bruce L; Criddle, Craig. 2003. Countering misinformation concerning big sagebrush. Research Paper RMRS-RP-40. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 28 p.

This paper examines the scientific merits of eight axioms of range or vegetative management pertaining to big sagebrush. These axioms are: (1) Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis) does not naturally exceed 10 percent canopy cover and mountain big sagebrush ( A. t. ssp. vaseyana) does not naturally exceed 20 percent canopy cover; (2) As big sagebrush canopy cover increases over 12 to15 percent, bare ground increases and perennial grass cover decreases; (3) Removing, controlling, or killing big sagebrush will results in a two or three or more fold increase in perennial grass production; (4) Nothing eats it; (5) Biodiversity increases with removing, controlling, thinning, or killing of big sagebrush; (6) Mountain big sagebrush evolved in an environment with a mean fire interval of 20 to 30 years; (7) Big sagebrush is an agent of allelopathy; and (8) Big sagebrush is a highly competitive, dominating, suppressive plant species.

Keywords: range management, sagebrush control, wildlife, biodiversity, allelopathy, fire, cover

About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help or order a printed copy of this publication.

Download RMRS-RP-40

PDF File Size: 1 MB

Title: RMRS-RP-40: Countering Misinformation Concerning Big Sagebrush
Electronic Publish Date: September 29, 2003
Last Update:
January 15, 2010

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us