Finally an article in a major newspaper that almost gets it right about rangefires — it’s the cheatgrass! . . . the cheatgrass was
The Cheatgrass Menace. By Christopher Smart. Salt Lake Tribune.
A couple things that next to be emphasized. . . . larger seed banks need to be created and soon because the demand for reseeding outstrips supply, given all the fires.
In the article it says, “Of the more successful strategies, Pellant explained, is to introduce non-native grasses that can outcompete cheat and then seed with native grasses to restore the environment. But once new grasses have been planted, they must be allowed to take root over several years before they can be grazed, or the cheat will return. And there is always pressure to get livestock back on the range.” [emphasis mine]
In addition, they usually do not get around to seeding with native grasses a few years after they have planted these “non-natives that can outcompete cheatgrass.”
If this menace is to be curbed, more than money is needed. There also needs to be the political will to say “no” to ranchers who want start grazing again the second year after a reseeded burn, and there has to be the will to provide money to do a second seeding with the native plants. It is critical we don’t lot politicians use burns to as an excuse for even more abusive grazing practices.