• An Economic Analysis of Black-Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Control

      Collins, A. R.; Workman, J. P.; Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1984-07-01)
      Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) control by poisoning with zinc phosphide was not economically feasible in the Conata Basin of South Dakota. Economic analyses were conducted from U.S. Forest Service and rancher viewpoints. Control programs were analyzed with annual maintenance or complete retreatment of initially treated areas to prevent prairie dog repopulation and, except for annual maintenance at low repopulation rates, were unable to recover initial control costs. At a prairie dog repopulation rate of 30% per year (the most realistic projection), prairie dog control was not economically feasible and annual maintenance control costs were greater than the annual value of forage gained. Control benefit was forage gained on treated areas. With an increase of approximately 51 kg/ha of cattle forage, over 7 ha of initial prairie dog control were required to gain 1 AUM per year for the life of the treatment.
    • An Important Lichen of Southeastern Montana Rangelands

      MacCracken, J. G.; Alexander, L. E.; Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1983-01-01)
      The lichen (Parmelia chlorochroa) was most abundant in sagebrush and grassland vegetation associations, less so in the pine, and absent in riparian types. It was significantly associated with drier sites and bare ground. Lichens appear to have value in reducing erosion, as indicators of intensive grazing, and in contributing to the nutrient quality of soils.
    • Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Food Habits and Forage Relationships in Western South Dakota [Cynomys Ludovicianus]

      Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1984-07-01)
      Four plants made up 65% of items in fecal pellets of the black-tailed prairie dog in western South Dakota. These important forages in order of significance were sand dropseed, sun sedge, blue grama, and wheatgrasses. Grasses made up 87% of the total diet, while forbs comprised 12%. Shrubs, arthropods, and seeds made up 1% or less of the diet. Preference indices were highest for ring muhly, green needlegrass, and sand dropseed. Relationships of diets to available forage was weak, having an average similarity of 25%; rank-order correlations were nonsignificant, indicating that black-tailed prairie dogs are selective feeders.
    • Cattle Diets in a Ponderosa Pine Forest in the Northern Black Hills

      Uresk, D. W.; Paintner, W. W. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A cattle diet study was conducted in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Forty-eight plants were identified in cattle fecal material. Grasses in the feces averaged 54%, forbs 17%, and shrubs-trees 28% over the grazing season. Sedges (Carex spp.) and wheatgrass (Agropyron spp.) were the most abundant plants found in the feces throughout the season. Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), and Oregon grape (Berberis repens) were common in the diet. Shrubs and trees made up 37% of the diet in September. Similarities and rank order correlations of diets with available forage were low in August, indicating that cattle were selectively grazing.
    • Comparison of Soil Water Used by a Sagebrush-Bunchgrass and a Cheatgrass Community

      Cline, J. F.; Uresk, D. W.; Rickard, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 1977-05-01)
      Two contrasting plant communities occur on the Arid Lands Ecology (ALE) Reserve in south-central Washington, one dominated by a mixture of sagebrush and bluebunch wheatgrass and the other by a nearly pure stand of cheatgrass. At the beginning of the spring growing season in 1974, a year of above-average precipitation, both communities had about the same amount of soil water stored in the first 18 dm of the soil profile. During the growing season, the quantity of soil water used by the sagebrush-bunchgrass and cheatgrass communities was 15 and 8 cm, respectively. The difference in soil water used by the two communities is attributed to a deeper root system and a longer growing period by plants of the sagebrush-bunchgrass community.
    • Constituents of In Vitro Solution Contribute Differently to Dry Matter Digestibility of Deer Food Species

      Uresk, D. W.; Dietz, D. R.; Messner, H. E. (Society for Range Management, 1975-09-01)
      This study assessed the contribution of chemical constituents used in the in vitro technique by Tilley and Terry on digestibilities of five species of plants. Apparent digestibility was lowest, 28-29%, for water alone, buffer alone, and buffer plus pepsin. Dry matter loss increased to 32-33% with either buffer + alcohol + HCl or buffer + alcohol + HCl + pepsin. Highest apparent digestibility, 44%, was reached with the addition of white-tailed deer inoculum. HCl contributed significantly to digestion while pepsin did not. Degree of digestion varied among the five species of plants tested.
    • Diets of Steers on a Shrub-Steppe Rangeland in South-Central Washington

      Uresk, D. W.; Rickard, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 1976-11-01)
      Botanical composition of steers' diets on a shrub-steppe rangeland in south-central Washington was examined by inspection of finely ground fecal samples viewed through a microscope. Four species, Cusick bluegrass, Thurber needlegrass, hawksbeard and bluebunch wheatgrass, comprised 92% of the total diet. Grasses accounted for 73% of the diet and forbs and half shrubs contributed 26%. Botanical composition of the diets changed throughout the spring grazing season with changing availability and maturation of herbage. Preference indices in decreasing order were: Cusick bluegrass > Thurber needlegrass > hawksbeard > bluebunch wheatgrass, but bluebunch wheatgrass was the most abundant species in the pasture. The second most abundant grass, Sandberg bluegrass, was not selected by steers.
    • Diets of the Black-tailed Hare in Steppe Vegetation

      Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1978-11-01)
      Thirteen species of plants were identified in fecal pellets of black-tailed hares collected from sagebrush and bitterbrush communities in southcentral Washington. Microscopic analysis of plant fragments indicated that yarrow was the most common food item in the diet, making up 25% of the overall diet. Other food items in decreasing order of importance were: turpentine cymopterus > hoary aster > needleandthread > and Jim Hill mustard. Preference indices indicated that needleandthread was the most preferred plant in the sagebrush community, while yarrow was the most preferred plant in the bitterbrush community. Although the communities were not similar in plant species frequency of occurrence and cover, the hare diets were quite similar in both communities, indicating that hares were actively seeking preferred foods.
    • Dynamics of Blue Grama within a Shortgrass Ecosystem

      Uresk, D. W.; Sims, P. L.; Jameson, D. A. (Society for Range Management, 1975-05-01)
      The dynamics of standing crop for live, dead, and litter compartments of blue grama were studied for 2 years to formulate equations useful for predicting growth rates over 2-week intervals. During the period of rapid vegetative growth, 54% of the variation in rates of changes for live herbage was accounted for by the amount of live herbage present at a given time. During the declining period, the amount of live herbage, leaf moisture, and air temperature accounted for 58% of the variation in net changes. The transfer rate from live to dead herbage was 0.22% of the live herbage per day during the growing season, while litter accumulated from the dead herbage at a rate of 0.31% per day. This transfer rate became 0.086% per day during the non-growing season. Litter decomposed during the growing season at a rate of 0.35% per day.
    • Effects of Controlling Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs on Plant Production

      Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Plant production of 43 plant species was evaluated for three treatments after poisoning black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on rangelands in western South Dakota. The three pre-poison treatments were ungrazed (no cattle or prairie dogs), prairie dogs only, and cattle plus prairie dogs. Western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) had lower production on the prairie dog, and cattle-prairie dog treatments 4 years after prairie dog control, when compared with no grazing. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) showed a decrease in production on the cattle plus prairie dog grazing treatment, when compared to no grazing. Production of needleleaf sedge (Carex eleocharis) was lower on the cattle-prairie dog treatment, when compared to the prairie dog treatment. No other significant differences were observed over the 4-year period among the three treatments for all other species, including grass and forb categories. Prairie dog control did not increase plant production over a 4-year period. Additional time with reduced livestock grazing may be required to increase forage production.
    • Effects of Surface Mining On the Vesper Sparrow in the Northern Great Plains

      Schaid, T. A.; Uresk, D. W.; Tucker, W. L.; Linder, R. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-07-01)
      A 2-year study was conducted to compare density of vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) during the breeding season on various aged bentonite clay mine spoils and unmined areas in the Northern Great Plains. The vesper sparrow was one of the most common breeding species with highest densities in grass-sagebrush habitat. Reclaimed and unreclaimed mined spoils had lower sparrow densities which were related to loss of sagebrush habitat. Reserving areas with shrubs between mine spoils, around equipment storage areas, and along haul roads may be necessary during mining and reclamation to attract vesper sparrows in regions where natural regeneration or transplanting of shrubs is difficult.
    • Efficacy of Zinc Phosphide and Strychnine for Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Control

      Uresk, D. W.; King, R. M.; Apa, A. D.; Linder, R. L. (Society for Range Management, 1986-07-01)
      Three rodenticide treatments, zinc phosphide (prebaited) and strychnine (both with and without prebait), were evaluated immediately following treatment for efficacy of controlling black-tailed prairie dogs in western South Dakota. Active prairie dog burrows were reduced 95% with zinc phosphide, 83% with strychnine (prebaited), and 45% with strychnine without prebait. Zinc phosphide was the most effective in reducing active burrows of prairie dogs.
    • Flora and Fauna Associated with Prairie Dog Colonies and Adjacent Ungrazed Mixed-grass Prairie in Western South Dakota

      Agnew, W.; Uresk, D. W.; Hansen, R. M. (Society for Range Management, 1986-03-01)
      Vegetation, small rodents, and birds were sampled during the growing seasons of 2 years on prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and adjacent mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota. Prairie dog grazing decreased mulch cover, maximum height of vegetation, plant species richness, and tended to decrease live plant canopy cover compared to that on ungrazed mixed-grass prairie. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) was the dominant plant on prairie dog towns and western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) were most common on mixed-grass prairie sites. Prairie dog towns supported greater densities of small rodents but significantly fewer species compared to undisturbed mixed-grass sites. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) were more abundant on prairie dog towns than on undisturbed mixed-grass sites. Density and species richness of birds were significantly greater on prairie dog towns. Horned larks (Eremophila alpestris) were most common on prairie dog towns, whereas western meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) were most common on mixed-grass prairie.
    • Growth of Forbs, Shrubs, and Trees on Bentonite Mine Spoil Under Greenhouse Conditions

      Uresk, D. W.; Yamamoto, T. (Society for Range Management, 1986-03-01)
      Revegetation on raw bentonite spoil with or without treatments is often more practical than replacing topsoil in areas where it is scarce or nonexistent. The effect of raw bentonite spoil treated with ponderosa pine sawdust on plant survival and growth was compared to other treatments including perlite, gypsum, straw, vermiculite, and no treatment. Plants tested were the drought- and salt-resistant species of fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.), rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseousus (Pallo) Britt.), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata tridentata Nutt.), common winterfat (Ceratoides lanata (Pursh) Moq.), Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum Sarg.), Russian olive (Elaegnus angustifolia L.), common yarrow (Achillea millifolium L.), and desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua Gray). Desert globemallow, fourwing saltbush, and rubber rabbitbrush had substantial growth and survival on sawdust, perlite, and vermiculite treated spoil. The growth promoting effect of sawdust is particularly promising; it is readily available and cost is minimal.
    • Growth Rates of a Cheatgrass Community and Some Associated Factors

      Uresk, D. W.; Cline, J. F.; Rickard, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 1979-05-01)
      Abiotic and biotic factors were found to be related to growth rates of a cheatgrass sward using stepwise regression analyses. Soil temperature and plant tissue nitrogen showed a strong relation with growth rates from initiation of growth to peak production. After peak production, soil temperature was related to declining growth rates. Water stored in the soil profile had a weak relationship with growth rates and plant growth was completed before soil water became limiting. Equations were developed using soil temperature, nitrogen content of plant tissues, and live herbage production to estimate future production of cheatgrass.
    • Impact of Bentonite Mining on Selecting Arthropods

      Sieg, C. H.; Uresk, D. W.; Hansen, R. M. (Society for Range Management, 1987-03-01)
      Arthropods were sampled in pitfall traps for 2 yr on bentonite mine spoils and adjacent, unmined big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) grasslands in southeastern Montana to assess the impacts of bentonite mining on selected arthropods, evaluate the success of early reclamation efforts in restoring arthropods to mined sites, and to identify limiting factors for colonization of spoils by arthropods. The most significant impacts on selected arthropods were on old, unreclaimed bentonite mine spoils, where after nearly 30 yr, numbers of 7 arthropod groups remained lower than on unmined sagebrush grasslands. Spoils covered with topsoil had higher captures of ground beetles (Carabidae) and crickets (Gryllidae) than unreclaimed spoils. And spoils covered with topsoil and seeded supported captures of most arachnids, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Formicidae similar to those on unmined sagebrush grasslands. Vegetative parameters measured in this study accounted for a portion of the variability in arthropod captures; however, microarthropod populations, arthropod vagility, and soil water contents may influence repopulation of mine spoils by some arthropods.
    • Impact of Cattle Grazing on Three Perennial Grasses in South-Central Washington

      Rickard, W. H.; Uresk, D. W.; Cline, J. F. (Society for Range Management, 1975-03-01)
      Grazing by yearling steers in a sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass community resulted in a reduction of growth and reproductive performance of the most important forage grass. Cusick's bluegrass was sparsely represented, but it was the most palatable and nutritious grass. It also showed the large reductions in growth of leaves and reproductive performance. Bluebunch wheatgrass and Thurber's needlegrass were not as adversely affected by grazing as Cusick's bluegrass.
    • Impact of Wildfire on Three Perennial Grasses in South-Central Washington

      Uresk, D. W.; Cline, J. F.; Rickard, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 1976-07-01)
      In a south-central Washington sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass community, bluebunch wheatgrass responded to burning by increased vegetative and reproductive performance. Burning decreased the vegetative and reproductive vigor of Cusick bluegrass and Thurber needlegrass.
    • Influence of Grazing on Crude Protein Content of Blue Grama

      Uresk, D. W.; Sims, P. L. (Society for Range Management, 1975-09-01)
      Grazing intensities of light, moderate, and heavy by cattle did not affect the protein content of blue grama herbage in northeastern Colorado. Crude protein content of live herbage changed with phenological development and with season, but no change occurred in dead herbage. During the early vegetative growth period, a high of 18% crude protein occurred in the plant tissues. Additional precipitation during the growing season did not appear to affect the content of protein in herbage.
    • Mineral Composition of Three Perennial Grasses in a Shrub-Steppe Community in South-Central Washington

      Uresk, D. W.; Cline, J. F. (Society for Range Management, 1976-05-01)
      Cusick bluegrass, Thurber needlegrass, and bluebunch wheatgrass tissues, live and standing dead, were chemically analyzed in pastures with and without a history of cattle grazing. Two years of spring grazing by cattle did not affect the mineral composition of these grasses. Live herbage was generally richer in minerals than standing dead herbage, but ash content of standing dead tissues was always higher.