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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
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Countering Misinformation Concerning Big Sagebrush
Electronic Publish Date: September 29, 2003
Last Update: January 15, 2010
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