• Viewpoint: Alternative dispute resolution in public land management

      Torell, D. J. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Alternative dispute resolution is a concept of dispute settlement which uses techniques other than litigation to reduce or resolve conflict. It involves bringing together parties in disagreement to participate in joint decision-making processes which seek win/win solutions. Alternative dispute resolution processes maintain control and authority for agreement in the hands of the parties in dispute. A third party process person is commonly utilized to assist parties in resolving conflicts. The application of alternative dispute resolution techniques in the field of natural resource management is relatively new. A study of environmental disputes found that 78% of the cases where alternative dispute resolution techniques were used, resulted in settlement. There are limitations and benefits to the application of these techniques in the field of natural resource management. Widespread use requires a significant increase in the understanding of alternative dispute resolution concepts and application among natural resource professionals.
    • Twelve years biomass response in aspen communities following fire

      Bartos, D. L.; Brown, J. K.; Booth, G. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Vegetation responses to prescribed fire over a 12-year period are reported for several deteriorating aspen clones in northwestern Wyoming. This study extends earlier work by Bartos and Mueggler (1981) on a prescribed fire intended to regenerate these aspen clones. After 3 years, numbers of suckers were close to pre-burn levels ranging between 10,000 to 20,000 suckers/ha. After 12 years, 1,500 to 2,400 suckers/ha remained at a meager height averaging approximately 0.5 m. The demise of this aspen was attributed to heavy ungulate use, primarily elk. Total undergrowth production increased substantially by the second postfire year and declined slowly after that. Biomass values of 2,130 kg/ha (low burn severity), 2,140 kg/ha (moderate burn severity), and 2,190 kg/ha (high burn severity) were recorded after 12 years. This exceeds preburn production by 23 to 46%. Forbs made up approximately 75% of the undergrowth production after 12 years, which was dominated by a dramatic postburn shift to fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium L.). The remaining production was comprised of approximately 20% grasses and 5% shrubs. Most of the fluctuation in species composition occurred on the high severity burn sites.
    • Technical Note: Diets and food selection of sage grouse chicks in Oregon

      Drut, M. S.; Pyle, W. H.; Crawford, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Diets and food selection by sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) chicks were determined during 1989 and 1990 on 2 areas that differed in long-term grouse productivity. Chicks consumed the same foods in similar frequencies and exhibited similar dietary selection on the areas, but relative dry mass differed. Forbs and invertebrates composed 80% of the dietary mass on the area with higher grouse productivity, whereas chicks on the other area consumed primarily (65%) sagebrush Artemisia spp. L.).
    • South Florida flatwoods range vegetation responses to season of deferment from grazing

      Kalmbacher, R. S.; Martin, F. G.; Pitman, W. D.; Tanner, G. W. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Wiregrass (Aristida stricta Michx.)-dominated communities characterize extensive areas of South Florida that have been subjected to burning and uncontrolled grazing for decades. We evaluated the effects of deferment from grazing on species composition and herbage mass of these rangelands. Treatments were 1-ha exclosures that were closed to grazing December to March, closed April to July, closed August to November, always closed, or always open. All treatments were burned biennially. Herbage mass of preferred grasses was greater (P < 0.05) after 8 years in exclosures that were always closed (avg. 110 kg ha-1) compared with other treatments, which were not different (avg. 65 kg ha-1). Herbage mass of preferred grasses increased by 10 kg ha-1 year-1. Shrub biomass was greater in the treatment that was always closed (2,370 kg ha-1) compared with other treatments avg. 1,855 kg ha-1), and biomass increased quadratically over years. There were no effects due to treatments or years on biomass of wiregrass, other less desirable grasses, grasslike species, or forbs. Frequency of occurrence of preferred grasses was not affected by treatment and averaged 41%. Although preferred grasses were relatively abundant, neither their biomass nor frequency of occurrence increased on a scale relevant to management for cattle production when protected from grazing. This biennially burned, seasonally flooded, infertile wiregrass range is not highly responsive to grazing or deferment from grazing, hence responses may not justify the inputs required for more intensive grazing management.
    • Soil heating, nitrogen, cheatgrass, and seedbed microsites

      Blank, R. R.; Abraham, L.; Young, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Heat-induced changes in the soil-solution and post-wildfire erosion can create chemically and texturally diverse seedbed microsites. We quantified organic carbon, extractable NH4+ after incubation (aerobic and anaerobic), and emergence of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), by particle size fractions, in unburned and simulated burned sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata spp. tridentata Nutt.) subcanopy soil. For all particle size fractions, significantly (P less than or equal to 0.05) more extractable NH4+ and significantly less extractable NO3- were measured in heated material as compared to unheated material. Heated treatments had significantly more NH4+ and significantly less NO3- mineralized after 11 days aerobic incubation than after unheated treatments; net N mineralized tended to be higher for all particle fractions in heated treatments than in unheated treatments. Emergence of cheatgrass under aerobic conditions was significantly retarded in all heated treatments. Elevated NH4+ to NO3- ratios in the soil-solution following heating does not explain suppression of cheatgrass emergence. Nitrogen mineralization, before and after simulated burning, is adequate in all particle size fractions to support the needs of germinating seeds. Nitrogen mineralization was not enhanced by the presence of growing cheatgrass plants.
    • Short-term response of riparian vegetation to 4 grazing treatments

      Popolizio, C. A.; Goetz, H.; Chapman, P. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      The Sheep Creek watershed of northcentral Colorado provided an ideal site to collect baseline trend data and to estimate foliar cover responses of montane riparian vegetation. Percent relative cover data were compared with Sorensen's similarity index and were analyzed with a 2-stage nested analysis of variance (ANOVA) to assess differences among 4 grazing treatments: long-term grazing (G), protection from livestock grazing since 1956 (P), recent protection following long-term grazing (P88), and recent livestock grazing following protection (G88). This study utilized 3 replications of each treatment. Data were collected in August 1988, June 1989, and August 1989, employing permanent and randomly placed transects and plots. When percent foliar cover means were paired using Sorensen's similarity index, long-term grazing and short-term grazing treatments were least similar in August 1988. Long-term protection and short-term grazing were most similar in June 1989. Average percent cover of bare ground, common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Wiggers), white Dutch clover (Trifolium repens L.), and legumes grouped as lifeforms were significantly different among treatments, with long-term grazing being significantly different from long-term protection. Average sedge and forb cover was least affected. However, responses of individual sedge species varied with treatments. Average percent grass cover increased under short-term protection after a history of long-term grazing. Short-term grazing stimulated foliar cover of forbs, grasses, and sedges after more than 30 years of cattle exclusion.
    • Shoot population dynamics of beaked sedge following cattle grazing

      Allen, D. R.; Marlow, C. B. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      We studied the effect of cattle grazing on shoot density and flux in 4 southwest Montana beaked sedge (Carex rostrata ex With.) stands for 2 years. Forty plots were protected and 40 plots were grazed by cattle in June and September of 1989 and 1990. The effect of grazing vs. no grazing on mean shoot density and emergence varied over time (treatment by time interaction P < 0 .001 and P = 0.003, respectively). About 90% of the time by treatment interaction for shoot density occurred from September 1989 through July 1990. Mean shoot density increased more in grazed plots than in ungrazed plots in spring 1990, and remained 12-16% higher during the last 6 months of the study. Mean shoot emergence was 20% greater (P = 0.006) in the grazed than in the ungrazed plots, with the greatest monthly differences occurring after 3 of the 4 grazing treatments. Mean shoot height declined similarly from June 1989 to June 1990 in the grazed and ungrazed plots (6 and 5%, respectively), indicating that productivity per shoot was similar between treatments. Beaked sedge in our study site was tolerant of light to moderate grazing, given adequate regrowth between spring and fall treatments.
    • Seeding Indian ricegrass in an arid environment in the Great Basin

      Young, J. A.; Blank, R. R.; Longland, W. S.; Palmquist, D. E. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Indian ricegrass [Oryzopsis hymenoides (R. & S.) Rickerl is a valuable forage species adapted to arid rangelands in temperate deserts. The purpose of this study was to test the influence of seeding date, depth, and rate on Indian ricegrass emergence and seedling establishment of acid scarified and intact caryopses (seeds). The seeding experiments were conducted on a wind eroding sand sheet of Lahontan age in western Nevada. During the initial year of planting, seeds of the cultivars Nezpar and Paloma Indian ricegrass were successfully established without pretreatment by acid scarification. Acid scarified seeds did not result in the established seedling stands in the field. Initial seedings were done in a season with prolonged moisture events with total precipitation about twice the average. Seedling stands of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch.) ex Link Schult] as well as other exotic and native herbaceous and woody species were established during the first year. During the next 4 years crested wheatgrass seedlings were never again established. Indian ricegrass seedlings were established in 3 of the 4 subsequent years of seeding trials using a seeding rate of 0.8 seeds/cm of row and a seeding depth of 1 cm. Indian ricegrass seedling emergence was increased by either increasing the planting depth to 5 cm or by reducing the seeding rate to 0.03 seeds/cm of row. The ultra-low seeding rate resulted in a significant saving in seed cost.
    • Persistence of Idaho fescue on degraded rangelands: Adaptation to defoliation or tolerance

      Jaindl, R. G.; Doescher, P.; Miller, R. F.; Eddleman, L. E. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Rangelands with histories of overgrazing are frequently depauperate of native grasses. Occasionally, remnant native grasses are found surviving in these areas. We hypothesized that these survivors have responded to livestock grazing, over the past 110 years, through development of genetically based ecotypes that are more tolerant of defoliation than populations protected from heavy use by domestic livestock. Transplanted individuals of a native grass, Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer), from heavily grazed and ungrazed rangelands were compared. Gardens were established in central Oregon at the Central Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and in eastern Oregon at the Northern Great Basin Experimental Range. Plants were defoliated during the vegetative, boot, and anthesis stages in 1990 and 1991 and subsequent growth evaluated. Parameters measured were end of growing season basal area, relative biomass production, and height and phenology at about biweekly intervals. Grazing history had no consistent effect on Idaho fescue response to defoliation. There were, however, differences between the protected and grazed collections from central Oregon in that the protected population averaged greater height and relative growth than those from the grazed areas even with defoliation. While the limited number of ungrazed sources in this region limits broad speculation, these results suggest idaho fescue survival in heavily grazed areas might be the result of differences in growth form rather than overcompensation or variation in time of phenologic development. Results also suggest that Idaho fescue from this region may elicit some grazing tolerance despite evolving historically with few large herbivores.
    • Management of switchgrass for forage and seed production

      Brejda, J. J.; Brown, J. R.; Wyman, G. W.; Schumacher, W. K. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Management of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for both forage and seed would improve the diversity of options livestock producers have for their stands. Our objective was to evaluate how timing of the forage harvest and N applications can be used to manage switchgrass for both forage and seed from the same stand. Switchgrass forage was harvested in late May (prior to stem elongation) or mid-June (early boot stage) or left uncut and treated with either a single application of 88 kg N ha-1 in the spring or 4-weeks after green-up, or split applications of 44 kg N ha-1 in the spring and 44 kg N ha-1 following defoliation. The late May harvest gave lower yields of higher quality forage whereas the mid-june harvest produced greater yields of lower quality forage. Both the late May and mid-June harvest increased total tiller density compared to uncut plots, but a mid-June harvest decreased reproductive tiller density. Application of N following defoliation increased both total tiller density and reproductive tiller density but the response was small with a mid-June harvest. A mid-June harvest reduced both seed yield and 100-seed weights all 3 years. A late May harvest reduced same-year seed yields and 100-seed weights in 1991 only, when the harvest was taken after stem elongation had initiated. Application of N following defoliation stimulated plant regrowth, enhancing same-year seed yield. Harvesting switchgrass for forage in the spring prior to stem elongation followed by a post-harvest N application of 44 kg N ha-1 allows producers to manage switchgrass for both forage and seed.
    • Impacts of mule deer and horse grazing on transplanted shrubs for revegetation

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J.; Durham, S. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Revegetation success on foothill ranges in northern Utah using big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. spp. wyomingensis Beetle and Young) and rubber rabbitbrush brush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus Britt. spp. albicaulis H. and C.) was determined as influenced by winter mule deer browsing and spring horse grazing. Treatment areas of 0.1 ha with 3 replications included a protected control, use by deer only, use by horses only, use by deer and horses, and use by deer with horse grazing delayed for 3 years after seedling transplant. Results from the first 6 growing seasons following transplanting of seedlings showed grazing by horses only tripled the available, per-plant browse production of big sagebrush compared to protected plots, whereas browsing by deer only resulted in a 40% decrease in browse production. Seedling survival of big sagebrush differed between treatments during the first 3 growing seasons but was not affected by grazing after the third growing season. Rubber rabbitbrush was not affected by treatments.
    • Heritabilities of morphological and agronomic traits in western wheatgrass

      Ray, I. M.; Harms, J. P. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Limited research has been directed towards characterizing the phenotypic and genotypic variability of different traits in North American plant species. This study was conducted to estimate the degree of genetic control, i.e., the heritability (h2), of several agronomic and morphological traits of ND-WWG931 western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii, (Rydb.) Love] and to provide insight into appropriate sample sizes needed to estimate genetic parameters. Thirty randomly selected half-sib families of ND-WWG931 western wheatgrass were evaluated over 2 years and 2 locations in seeded single-row plots. Heritabilities were determined for the following traits based on the progeny means of the 30 families: dry matter yield, tiller height, spikelets per spike, vigor, spike density, spike pubescence, and spikelet color. Spike density, dry matter yield, and vigor had relatively high heritabilities (h2 = 79, 72, and 67%, respectively) and were estimated with the greatest precision (90% confidence interval width range: 33 to 64% as large as the point estimate). Spike pubescence, spikelets per spike, tiller height, and spikelet color demonstrated moderate to low heritabilities (h2 = 55, 49, 33, and 0% respectively) and were estimated with the least precision as demonstrated by relatively wide confidence limits. The genetic variance components for spike density, forage yield, vigor, and spike pubescence exceeded twice their standard errors indicating that selection for these traits should be effective in ND-WWG931. Heritability estimates of fresh forage yield were essentially the same, i.e., 61.9 and 61.5%, when based on either 30 or 270 half-sib families, respectively, indicating that a sample size of 30 families was adequate to provide reliable estimates of genetic variance in ND-WWG931. These data provide general insight into the population genetics of a North American plant species and demonstrate an approach to determine the genetic variability within plant materials that are being used for rangeland revegetation.
    • Herbage yield, protein content, and carbohydrate reserves in gulf cordgrass (Spartina spartinae)

      Garza, A.; McLendon, T.; Drawe, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Gulf cordgrass (Spartina spartinae [Trin.] Merr.) is a highly productive bunchgrass that dominates thousands of hectares of marshlands along the Gulf coast. Herbage yield, protein content, and carbohydrate reserve patterns were studied for the species for 18 months on the Welder Wildlife Refuge on the central Texas coast. Plots were clipped at 1-month intervals at 10- and 20-cm stubble heights. Herbage yield and protein content were greater for plants clipped at 10-cm stubble height as compared with those clipped at 20 cm. Total nonstructural carbohydrate reserve levels in both stem bases and roots were also greater in plants clipped at the lower stubble height. Lowest carbohydrate reserve levels were recorded during periods of active growth. Results suggested that gulf cordgrass can withstand monthly removal of herbage to a height of 10 cm for a period of at least 18 months without adverse effects. The most sensitive periods for herbage removal, based on TNC and protein levels, were late summer and early fall.
    • Growth response of Mediterranean herbaceous swards to inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense

      Zaady, E.; Okon, Y.; Perevolotsky, A. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      A study was conducted on the effect of the rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense strain Cd on the production of herbaceous swards growing at 2 rangeland habitats in Israel. One habitat was the semiarid zone (< 300 mm annual rainfall, calcareous soil on rocky slopes) while the other was a typical Mediterranean zone (approximately-600 mm annual rainfall, karstic rock covered with terra rossa soil). The inoculum was applied in water suspension at a concentration of 109 colony forming units (CFU) ml-1. The effect of inoculation was compared with P-fertilizer application at a rate of 5 g/m2. The same treatments were also applied on potted soil from the 2 sites. The semiarid ecosystem showed a strong response to Azospirillum inoculation, to P-fertilizer and to the combination of these 2 treatments, with aerial biomass production increasing by approximately fourfold in the treatments as compared with the control. The response to inoculation or P-fertilization was similar, with no interaction or additive effect noted for the combined treatment. At the Mediterranean site, the response to inoculation or P-fertilization alone was variable, with only a moderate effect on biomass production as compared with the control; however, the inoculation-fertilization interaction was highly significant and doubled biomass production. In the greenhouse experiment, the response to inoculation or fertilization was significant and the biomass production at the end of the growing season was approximately 50% higher than in the control. At both sites, standing biomass was greater in the treated plots already at early stages of growth, thereby potentially lengthening the effective grazing season. It is suggested that inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense on a commercial scale may offer a means of increasing rangeland production without resorting to costly and ecologically unfavorable fertilizer application.
    • Evaluation of a refined surface cover subfactor for use in RUSLE

      Benkobi, L.; Trlica, M. J.; Smith, J. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Concern for nonpoint source pollution from rangelands has increased the need to monitor and predict amounts of soil erosion that may enter streams from adjacent rangelands. This study was undertaken to evaluate a refined surface cover subfactor (RSC) developed for the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) to simulate soil loss from rangelands as affected by various kinds and amounts of surface cover. In addition, sensitivity analysis indicated which variables most influenced erosion from a sagebrushgrass rangeland (Johnson and Gordon 1988). Evaluation of the RSC was done by comparing original RUSLE estimates of soil loss with those of RUSLE where the surface cover subfactor (SC) had been replaced with RSC. Estimated soil loss from both simulations were compared with field measurements of soil loss using a simple regression technique. Refined RUSLE predictions of soil loss (r2 = 0.81 and 0.50 for dry and moist conditions) were considerably better than those obtained with the original RUSLE model (r2 = 0.67 and 0.14 for dry and moist conditions). The refined RUSLE was better at describing Johnson and Gordon (1988) erosion data than was the original RUSLE model. Use of RSC in the RUSLE model may increase its accuracy, but the model still underpredicts the actual amount of soil loss.
    • Efficiency of different quadrat sizes and shapes for sampling standing crop

      Brummer, J. E.; Nichols, J. T.; Engel, R. K.; Eskridge, K. M. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Efficient sampling of standing crop is necessary to avoid unreasonable lays of time in the field. The objective of this study was to determine efficiency of different size and shape quadrats for sampling standing crop of total herbage and individual species. Three blocks 1.2 X 12 m were divided into 160 basic units using 30 X 30-cm quadrats. Basic units were combined into 18 size/shape combinations of quadrats. Current year standing crop was clipped in each basic unit into categories of sand bluestem (Andropogon hallii Hack.), prairie sandreed [Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook.) Scribn.], hairy grama (Bouteloua hirsuta Lag.), little bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium Michx.) Nash], and other herbage. Variance was used to determine sample number necessary to accurately and precisely estimate standing crop. Sample number was then used in conjunction with movement time between quadrats and clipping time to determine total field time as a measure of overall efficiency. Increasing quadrat size accounted for 68% or more of the observed decrease in variance. Long, narrow rectangles were more efficient for reducing variances of prairie sandreed and hairy grama, but shape had little effect on variances of sand bluestem, little bluestem, and total herbage. Groups of quadrats were similar in total field time with no "best" quadrat identified for any of the vegetation categories. Larger quadrats than those reported in the literature were found to be more efficient as a result of including movement time in the optimization procedures. Large amounts of total field time were required to efficiently estimate standing crop of little bluestem, which may require that alternative sampling methods be devised or used to estimate standing crop of this species and others with similar distribution patterns.
    • Effect of grazing and abandoned cultivation on a stipa-bouteloua community

      Dormaar, J. F.; Adams, B. W.; Willms, W. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      A Stipa-bouteloua community, cultivated in the autumn of 1928 and abandoned in the spring of 1932, reverted to a community dominated by needle-and-thread (Stipa comata Trin. and Rupr.). An exclosure to prevent grazing was constructed in 1978 to include equal portions of previously cultivated and adjacent native range, while the remainder of the area continued to be subjected to moderate to heavy grazing pressure. This permitted a study to determine the effects of the brief period of cultivation on forage production, species recovery, and soil physical and chemical characteristics compared to those of native prairie. After 14 years of protection from grazing, needle-and-thread accounted for 79% of foliar cover of the abandoned cultivation and 18% of the untreated range while blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (HBK.) Lag. ex Steud] occupied 1 and 51% on the same treatments, respectively. After 60 years, the soil on the abandoned cultivated area showed reduced carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, and hydraulic conductivity but increased N03-N. Grazing reduced hydraulic conductivity, NH4-N, available mineralizable nitrogen (chemical index), available phosphorus, and total carbohydrates but increased carbon, total nitrogen, and N03-N. Cultivation and grazing resulted in reduced root mass. To facilitate a rapid transition from blue gramb to needle-and-thread stable communities, input of energy, such as cultivation, may well be required.
    • Effect of defoliation intensity on regrowth of tallgrass prairie

      Tate, K. W.; Gillen, R. L.; Mitchell, R. L.; Stevens, R. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Grazing trials were conducted in north and south-central Oklahoma throughout the growing season of 1989 and 1990 in an attempt to explain live herbage accumulation rate of tallgrass prairie as a function of live residual herbage level. A 1-2 day grazing period on 8 treatment paddocks began 26 May (Trial 1), 7 July (Trial 2), and 18 August (Trial 3) of each year. Two replicate paddocks per trial were subjected to stocking densities of 7,600, 15,200,22,700, and 30,300 kg animal weight ha-1. Live herbage was measured immediately after grazing to determine live residual herbage level and 2,4,6, and 8 weeks after grazing to determine live herbage accumulation. Live herbage accumulation rate was determined as the first derivative with respect to day after grazing day of polynomial regression equations fit to live herbage accumulation data. Maximum live herbage accumulation rate decreased as season progressed but the time required to reach maximum live herbage accumulation rate was not dependent upon season. Live residual herbage level was a significant parameter in equations describing live herbage accumulation rate in 6 of 9 trials.