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Project ID: 13-1-06-1

Year: 2013

Date Started: 10/01/2013

Date Completed: 10/11/2017

Title: Restoring Sage-Grouse Habitat After Fire: Success of Different Restoration Methods Across an Elevation Gradient

Project Proposal Abstract: Greater sage-grouse are threatened by a continued loss of sagebrush habitat. Recent, large scale wildfires have elevated the risk to sage-grouse as it may take up to several decades to more than a century for naturally recovery of sage-grouse habitat (i.e. reestablishment of sagebrush). Sagebrush restoration after wildfires has had limited success and success probably varies considerably by method, site characteristics and interactions between them. However, almost no information is available to evaluate the potential success of different restoration methods across heterogeneous landscapes. Planting sagebrush seedlings has been repeatedly demonstrated to successfully restore sagebrush, but is cost prohibitive to apply across large landscapes and on some sites less expensive methods may be just as successful. However, the variability of success of other methods (broadcast seeding and broadcast seeding with packing) across heterogeneous landscapes and how success varies by environmental factors is unknown. Sagebrush restoration may also be improved by incorporating sagebrush seeds within a seed pillow which is a multi-functional seed enhancement technology that our research group is currently developing to improve sagebrush germination, emergence and seedling establishment. Planting sagebrush using seed pillows greatly increased success in pot studies, but needs field testing to further evaluate its utility. We propose to compare different sagebrush restoration methods (broadcast seeding, broadcast seeding and packing, planting sagebrush seedlings, seed pillows, and natural recovery) across elevation gradients ranging from 1219 to > 2134 m (4000 to >7000 ft) in large recently burned areas in Oregon and Nevada. We will replicate all treatments at 35 different sites resulting in 175 treatment plots. We will correlate restoration success of the different methods with environmental/site characteristics. This will allow us to determine what methods are the most effective and efficient to use at different locations based on site factors. We will also test the applicability of seed pillow technology across a broad range of site characteristics. This information will help land managers successfully and efficiently restore sage-grouse habitat after large wildfires by pairing restoration methods with site characteristics.

Principal Investigator: Kirk W. Davies

Agency/Organization: ARS-Agricultural Research Service

Branch or Dept: Range & Meadow Forage Management Research

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Charles M. Myers

ARS-Agricultural Research Service

Extramural Agreements Division

Budget Contact

Deborah R. Penick

ARS-Agricultural Research Service

Range & Meadow Forage Management Research

Co-Principal Investigator

Chad S. Boyd

ARS-Agricultural Research Service

Range & Meadow Forage Management Research

Co-Principal Investigator

Michael A Gregg

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Mid-Columbia River NWRC-Hanford Reach Nat'l Monument

Co-Principal Investigator

Matthew D. Madsen

Brigham Young University

Department of Plant & Wildlife Sciences

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Basin








Burns District




Vale District




Winnemucca District Office

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   7993 Final Report Summary Final Report Summary

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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