Prescribed Burning: Vegetative Change, Forage Production, Cost, and Returns on Six Demonstration Burns in Utah
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CitationRalphs, M. H., & Busby, F. E. (1979). Prescribed burning: Vegetative change, forage production, cost, and returns on six demonstration burns in Utah. Journal of Range Management, 32(4), 267-270.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractSix demonstration burns were conducted between 1974 and 1976 as part of the Utah Rangeland Development Program. Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), the target species, was essentially eliminated on the areas that were burned. Five of the six burns were seeded, with predominately crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum). Despite the severe drought only one seeding was considered a failure. Forage production increased several-fold above preburn production and is expected to continue to increase as the grass stands mature. An economic analysis of the 1974 burn showed an internal rate of return of 17%. Great risks were associated with the use of fire. Extensive precautions were taken to minimize hazards but variable weather conditions in late summer greatly increased the chance of the fire escaping. Prescribed burning is inexpensive and effective in controlling big sagebrush when adequate safety precautions are taken.