• Bite characteristics of wapiti (Cervus elaphus) in seasonal Bromus-Poa swards

      Jiang, Z. G.; Hudson, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      We used a cubic sampling quadrat to study the 3-dimensional structure of volunteer Bromus-Poa swards, and explored the relationship of bite depth and sward height as a determinant of bite sizes of wapiti (Cervus elaphus) in the mixed-wood parklands of central Alberta, Canada. The vertical biomass distribution of the sward was pyramidal with leaves dominating the top stratum. Bite depths of yearling and adult wapiti were not significantly different but both were influenced by sward height and season. Wapiti selected bites in both vertical and horizontal dimensions. In spring, wapiti selected vertically, taking green leaves in the top layer of the sward. They selected forbs horizontally in summer and selected leaves vertically in mature autumn swards. Based on the relationships among bite depth and sward height, biomass and sward height, as well as vertical biomass distribution, we calculated expected bite sizes of wapiti on seasonal pasture. We also predicted changes of dietary protein and neutral detergent fiber with increasing bite depth. On spring swards, calculated dietary protein decreased and fiber increased as animals grazed deeper into the swards. In summer and autumn, dietary protein peaked as wapiti cropped about half of the height of the sward whereas dietary fiber was relatively constant. Wapiti adjusted their bite depth to select forage containing at least 14% protein in spring, summer, and autumn. The sacrifice of bite size in tall summer and autumn swards was compensated by diet quality.
    • Cattle preference for 4 wheatgrass taxa

      Jones, T. A.; Ralphs, M. H.; Nielson, D. C. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      We compared the preference of cattle for 12 entries, 2 of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fischer ex Link) Schultes], 5 of thickspike wheatgrass [Elymus lanceolatus (Scribner & J.G. Smith) Gould ssp. lanceolatus], 3 of Snake River wheatgrass (proposed name E. lanceolatus spp. wawawaiensis), and 2 of bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) A. Love] in May 1989 and 1990 at Logan, Utah. Spaced plants were randomly arranged in 4 paddocks which were grazed once by 2 animals in late spring each year. Number of bites and number of visits were recorded for each entry in each paddock for the 2 animals individually. Cattle preferred Hycrest and Nordan crested wheatgrasses both years. Number of bites per plant for crested, thickspike, Snake River, and bluebunch wheatgrasses averaged 9.1, 4.3, 3.1, and 4.1, respectively, in 1989 and 6.7, 3.3, 3.5, and 3.6, respectively, in 1990. Number of visits was highly correlated with number of bites across entries. Grazing preference among entries was more highly correlated with biomass score and canopy height than basal area or maturity. Cattle preferred crested wheatgrass over the native wheatgrasses tested here during the spring grazing season.
    • Competitive pricing for the McGregor Range: Implications for federal grazing fees

      Fowler, J. M.; Torell, L. A.; Gallacher, G. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Competitive bidding is an acceptable way to determine an efficient price to both buyer and seller. The quasi-competitive bid structure used to price federal forage and lessor-provided services on the McGregor Range in New Mexico indicates that the efficient market price for federal forage, services, and facilities had an upper value of 4.88/AUM during the 1992 grazing season. The facilities and services provided on the McGregor Range had a value of 1.96/AUM to the ranchers leasing the bombing range. The residual amount of 2.92/AUM represents the estimated value of high quality federal forage during 1992. The total cost of grazing McGregor Range was estimated to average 16.78/AUM during the 1992 production year. This is less than the cost of leasing comparable private land (19.68/AUM) or BLM land (21.06/ AUM) in New Mexico.
    • Germination and seedling establishment of spiny hopsage in response to planting date and seedbed environment

      Shaw, N. L.; Haferkamp, M. R.; Hurd, E. G. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Reestablishment of spiny hopsage (Grayia spinosa [Hook.] Moq.) in the shrub steppe requires development of appropriate seeding technology. We examined the effect of planting date and seedbed environment on germination and seedling establishment of 2 seed sources at 2 southwestern Idaho sites. Seedbeds were prepared by rototilling. In 1987-88, seeds collected in 1986 were drilled at 66 viable seeds m-1 of row at Birds of Prey in late fall, winter, and early spring and at Reynolds Creek in late fall, early spring, and late spring. Seeds collected in 1986 and 1988 were broadcast at 400 viable seeds m-2 at both sites in late fall, early spring, and late spring 1988-89. Seeds in nylon bags were also planted at each site in late fall, winter, and early spring in 1987-88 and in late fall, winter, early spring, and late spring in 1988-89. On each succeeding planting date and in early summer, 5 bags of each seed source from each of the earlier planting dates were recovered. Water content, viability, and germination were compared among seeds from previous plantings and control seeds stored in the laboratory. Each year, first-year seedling establishment at both sites was favored by late fall compared to other planting dates. In 1988, seedlings established only from late fall plantings at a density of 1 m(-2) st each site. In 1989, late fall planting at the 2 sites increased seedling establishment 6 (51 vs 8 m-2) and 20 (41 vs 2 m-2) times compared to early spring planting. Germination was generally greater for seeds incubated at field sites compared to controls. Germination total and rate increased 6-11 times and 13 days from late fall 1987 to early spring 1988, 1-6 times and 4 and 9 days from winter 1988 to early spring 1988, 17 times and 10-11 days from late fall 1988 to winter 1989, and 4-7 times and 11 days from winter 1989 to early spring 1989. Late fall or early winter planting is essential to permit early spring germination when surface soils are moist.
    • Germination rate and emergence success in bluebunch wheatgrass

      Kitchen, S. G.; Monsen, S. B. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Development of plant materials adapted to the demands of a harsh environment and conditions created by standard planting practices has resulted in improved seedling establishment for some species. Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] Love) is an important native bunchgrass often planted in the Intermountain and Pacific Northwest regions. Though cultivars have been developed, this species continues to have a reputation for weak seedlings. Forty-seven accessions of bluebunch wheatgrass collected from naturally occurring populations in 9 geographic regions and the cultivar 'Goldar' were evaluated for germination rate, seedling emergence and growth, and seed weight. Significant differences in seed weight and germination rate at optimum (15/25 degrees C) and cold (1 degree C) temperatures were observed. Seedling emergence from a 4-cm depth ranged from 5 to 66%. Mean dry shoot weight 28 days after planting varied among accessions by a factor of 6. Simple correlations between seed weight and percentage emergence (r = 0.62) and seed weight and mean shoot weight (r = 0.63) indicate seed weight could be used as a preliminary screening test for these traits. Seed weight was not useful in predicting germination rate. Results suggest establishment success may be improved through careful selection for traits associated with seedling vigor.
    • Influence of storage, temperature, and light on germination of Japanese brome seed

      Haferkamp, M. R.; Karl, M. G.; MacNeil, M. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus Thunb.), an alien annual grass, is an important component of some northern mixed-prairie communities. Understanding the relationship between environment and population dynamics for this species is critical for efficient management of infested ranges. Our objective was to determine the germination pattern of seed harvested in the Great Plains with varying collection dates, storage conditions, incubation temperatures, and light regimes. Seeds were collected from inflorescences (nondisseminated seed) during July in Oklahoma a Montana and during November and December in Montana. July collections were stored in paper sacks in a laboratory, and November and December collections were divided into thirds and stored in an unheated warehouse, oven-dried at 46 degrees C, or frozen at -18 degrees C. Seeds were germinated in 2 regimes, where temperatures alternated every 12 hours and light was provided during the hours of high temperature. One regime provided 10 days of prechilling (0 and 10 degrees C) followed by 18 days of a warm temperature (8 and 23 degrees C) (chilling). Another regime consisted of 28 days of the warm temperature (warm). Samples of seeds were also imbibed in the warm regime with 12-hour or intermittent periods of light. July collections germinated rapidly to > 90% regardless of temperature. November and December collections stored in the warehouse germinated > 70% in the warm regime, but germination was reduced to < 20% with chilling, suggesting secondary dormancy was induced by imbibition at 0 degrees C. Oven drying was the only treatment that consistently reduced maximum germination. Darkness enhanced 7-day germination, but light improved 28-day germination, and more recently collected seeds were more sensitive to light than older ones. These and earlier findings from Kentucky suggest Japanese brome seeds grown in different locations respond similarly to changing environmental conditions.
    • Optimization of range improvements on sagebrush and pinyon-juniper sites

      Evans, S. G.; Workman, J. P. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      The optimum combination of 3 range improvements was determined for private lands on Utah ranches. While many promising range improvements are available, determination of which alternatives to implement must consider the total ranch operation. Linear programming (LP) makes it possible to simultaneously determine the profit maximizing combinations of range improvements and how these improvements will affect the total ranch operation. The study examined 3 range improvements (revegetation, burning, and chemical brush control) for big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) and pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.-juniperus spp.) on upland loam and upland shallow loam range sites. Net present value analysis and an LP model were used to identify the most efficient alternative, the limiting constraints, and the optimum levels and combinations of alternatives. The optimal solution ran 238 brood cows compared to 196 for the typical Utah ranch. Burning big sagebrush or pinyon-juniper infestations on crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum Fisch. ex Link) foothill ranges was the most profitable range improvement. Annual net cash incomes after burning sagebrush or pinyon-juniper on the upland loam site were 37,873 and 37,770, respectively, compared to 31,278 on the typical Utah cow-calf operation. The optimal solution will change as input and product prices change. The model was designed for application to specific ranches rather than to make general recommendations for the typical Utah ranch.
    • Pre-laying nutrition of sage grouse hens in Oregon

      Barnett, J. K.; Crawford, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Diet, dietary selection, and nutritional composition of the food of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) hens were determined during the pre-laying period in southeastern Oregon in 1990 an 1991. We collected 42 female sage grouse during a 5-week period preceding incubation (4 March-8 April). Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) was the most common among 21 foods consumed but forbs composed 18 to 50% of the diet by weight. Desert-parsley (Lomatium spp.), hawksbeard (Crepis spp.), long-leaf phlox (Phlox longifolia Nutt.), everlasting (Antennaria spp.), mountain-dandelion (Agoseris spp.), clover (Trifolium spp.), Pursh's milk-vetch (Astragalus purshii Dougl.), buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.), and obscure milk-vetch (A. obscurus) were the primary (greater than or equal to 1% of the diet by weight) forbs consumed. Forbs were used selectively over sagebrush in both low and big sagebrush cover types. All forbs were higher in crude protein and phosphorus and many were higher in calcium than sagebrush. Consumption of forbs increased nutrient content of the composite diet. Substantially fewer forbs were present in the diet in 1991 than in 1990, which coincided with reduced sage grouse productivity on the study area. These results suggest that consumption of forbs during the pre-laying period may effect reproductive success by improving nutritional status of hens.
    • Productivity of long-term grazing treatments in response to seasonal precipitation

      Milchunas, D. G.; Forwood, J. R.; Lauenroth, W. K. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Estimates of forage production for long-term ungrazed, lightly, moderately, and heavily grazed treatments (0, 20, 40, 60% removal of annual forage production) established in 1939 in shortgrass steppe communities were subjected to multiple regression analyses to assess long-term temporal trends resulting from grazing and short-term sensitivities to abiotic factors. Average production based upon all data from 1939-1990 was 75, 71, 68, and 57 g m-2 yr-1 for ungrazed, lightly, moderately, and heavily grazed treatments, respectively. Variability in forage production was explained mostly by cool-season precipitation, and magnitude of forage production was more sensitive to annual fluctuations in precipitation than to long-term grazing treatments. Production per unit increase of precipitation was greater for cool-season than warm-season precipitation, but only when cool-season precipitation was above average. This was attributed to differences in evaporative demand of the atmosphere resulting in different utilization-efficiencies of small and large rainfall events in the 2 seasons. Based upon a regression model constructed using data from 1939 through 1962, forage production was not affected by grazing to 20 to 35% removal. For pastures of average relative productivity, grazing at 60% level of consumption for 25 years resulted in a 3% decrease in forage production in wet years and a 12% decrease in dry years. Estimates of productivity after 50 years of heavy compared to light grazing treatment were -5 and -18% for wet and average y precipitation, respectively.
    • Social facilitation influences cattle to graze locoweed

      Ralphs, M. H.; Graham, D.; James, L. F. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Many ranchers claim that if a cow starts eating locoweed, she will teach others to eat it. Three grazing trials were conducted to evaluate the role of social facilitation in starting cattle to graze locoweed. The first trial was conducted near Gladstone, N.M., using mature cows grazing woolly locoweed (Astragalus mollissimus var. mollissimus Torr). The second trial was conducted on the Raft River Mountains in northwestern Utah, using yearling cattle grazing white locoweed (Oxytropis sericea Nutt). The third trial was conducted to determine if aversion-conditioned yearling cattle would consume white locoweed when placed with cattle that were eating locoweed (loco-eaters). Cattle conditioned to eat locoweed and naive animals in trials 1 and 2 first grazed in separate pastures to evaluate their initial acceptance of locoweed. The groups in the respective trials then were placed together to evaluate the influence of social facilitation on locoweed consumption. Locoweed consumption was quantified by bite count. Naive cattle in trials 1 and 2 sampled small quantities of locoweed while grazing separately. However, they greatly increased locoweed consumption when placed with the loco-eaters. Aversion-conditioned cattle in trial 3 did not consume locoweed while grazing separately. When placed with loco-eaters, they gradually increased consumption of white locoweed, in contrast to the immediate acceptance of locoweed by naive cattle in trials 1 and 2. The aversion extinguished and averted animals eventually accepted white locoweed at levels comparable to loco-eaters. Results of this study demonstrate that social facilitation can cause cattle to start eating locoweed.
    • State of the Society: Advancing the Profession

      Donart, Gary B. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
    • The effect of Quercus douglasii removal on understory yield and composition

      Bartolome, J. W.; Allen-Diaz, B. H.; Tietje, W. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      The canopy of Quercus douglasii H. & A. (blue oak) has been variously reported to enhance or suppress understory production. The effects of canopy removal have been reported only for the northern portion of blue oak's range. We removed all blue oaks from 6 plots in the central coast of California and found no significant change in understory biomass over 3 years. Understory herb cover averaged 32.6% on cleared plots, compared to 24.3% on uncut plots, but composition changed little with the exception of an increase in Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. Clearing did not produce the distinctive species composition and forage enhancement under Q. douglasii canopy reported in other studies, an based on comparisons between unmanipulated canopy and adjacent grassland. Our results suggest that the canopy effect could instead be caused by differences in sites occupied by trees. Clearing of Q. douglasii in regions with 50 cm or less of mean annual precipitation is not recommended for increasing forage production.
    • Viewpoint: Integrating CRM (Coordinated Resource Management) and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) processes

      Swanson, S. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Coordinated Resource Management (CRM) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) each provide an approach for involving the public and resource specialists from many disciplines in public land management decisions. This viewpoint suggests combining the consensus building approach of CRM into the broader public involvement and sometimes more thorough analysis of a NEPA process. The combined process seems most applicable when a diversity of interests want potentially incompatible decisions, especially if those decisions could significantly affect the structure and function of ecosystems or natural-resource-based economies. Fourteen steps in a combined process describe the mechanics and rationale for this integration. To succeed with this process, begin with thorough preparation, then foster open and repeated 2-way communication. Communication with the broader public ensures that all affected interests may contribute ideas. Consensus building with representatives of all resource interests and land ownerships ensures public trust and broadly supported management. Consensus building continues through decision making, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and replanning.
    • Viewpoint: The logic of using tracks and signs in predation incidents where bears are suspected

      Mysterud, I. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Based on recent circumstances in connection with compensation of livestock killed by large, protected carnivores in Norway, this paper discusses what type of logic should be used to establish which animal is the perpetrator. We suggest that the use of a "modus tollens" logic based upon tracks and signs which are not found at the site is invalid for management purposes. Instead, we suggest "modus ponens" logic based upon what is actually found by a carcass.