Restoration Update 05-06-13

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Restoration Update 05-06-13

May 10, 2013

Dan Mummey shares an update on restoration efforts.

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Annual weed control with glyphosate this spring opened up space between bunchgrasses on Indian Ridge.

Small cheatgrass patches escaped control. Thick cheatgrass forms a canopy that intercepts spray. Spot-spraying will help reduce weedseed production before seeding in the fall.

Leafy spurge is abundant on Indian Ridge and will require separate treatment. Native forb diversity and abundance are low.

Seeded species were stunted by herbicide in the north pivot. We began seeding to fill in interspaces. Many stunted plants are recovering and should grow well with little competition.

Plant recovery under the north center-pivot. Early watering will reduce stress on established plants and stimulate seed germination.

Seeded rows under the south center-pivot. This area wasn’t treated with imazapic last fall and ruderal species fill interspaces between seeded species

The lower woodchuck area was sprayed on the same day with the same amount of herbicide as the north pivot. Seeded species show no evidence of stunting. Unlike the north pivot, this area was not watered last fall. Dormant plants are less susceptible to imazapic.

Fall imazapic treatment controlled most weeds on sainfoin bench. Follow up glyphosate treatment to control all weeds before the stand is diversified with native species.

These sagebrush plants were grown from stem cuttings treated with root hormones. They really took off this year! Although labor intensive, the method is a good way to transfer ranch sagebrush genotypes to new areas.

Harrowing crested wheatgrass stands will facilitate seed-soil contact.

Four curlews and a nest (yellow star) were spotted in areas proposed for crested wheatgrass conversion. Kate Stone thinks that breeding pairs driven off nests this year may never return. We propose waiting until next year to begin restoration of the area enclosed in red. Surrounding areas will be seeded with low-statured species that curlews favor.