A federal report last year concluded efforts to save sagebrush habitat in the West were failing, with invasive plants such as cheatgrass
and medusahead on nearly 160,000 square miles (414,400 sq.
Native chaparral can burn with great intensity, and highly flammable invasive species have been brought into the area by human activity, including Eucalyptus trees and cheatgrass
(Bromus Tectorum; www.cal-ipc.org/resources/library/publications/ipcw/report21/), also known as "grassoline."
In those spaces between, horses graze in fields and sagebrush and cheatgrass
sway in the breeze.
The species fanning the flames of western wildfires is an invasive grass known as cheatgrass
Invasive species like cheatgrass
and juniper trees as well as
For example, Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is strongly associated with sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata), Chukar (Alectoris chukar) is associated with cheatgrass
(Bromus tectorum), and Chestnut-backed Chickadees (Parus rufescens) appears to follow the distribution of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in California .
Habitat fragmentation from oil and gas development is a significant factor in places like Wyoming, and invasive plants like cheatgrass
are taking their toll on grouse habitat, as well.
The flat (100 to 200 m elevation) lake basin is dominated by shrubsteppe including Big Sagebrush, rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), Western Needle-and-Thread (Stipa comata), and introduced Cheatgrass
(Bromus tectorum; Clarke and Bryce 1997).
Ranching becomes a major focus, particularly the harm caused by non-native cattle grazing, which spreads the stubborn invasive plant cheatgrass
Spotting the herd feeding along a cheatgrass
ridge, I was able to get below them and used a small coulee for cover to move closer.
Grass awns are found in several plants, including cheatgrass
, Canada wild rye and foxtail barley.