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Nancy L. Shaw, Ann M. DeBolt, Roger Rosentreter
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Management Approaches
Recovery after fire
Sagebrush steppe

NRFSN number: 11006
FRAMES RCS number: 3013
Record updated:

Reestablishing big sagebrush on rangelands now dominated by native perennial grasses, introduced perennial grasses, or exotic annual grasses, particularly cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), serves to stabilize soil, improve moisture availability and nutrient recyling, increase biological diversity, and foster community stability and resiliency. A first priority in reseeding is identifying the subspecies of big sagebrush native to the site and procuring adapted, high-quality seed of that subspecies from a similar site. Seed should be planted on firm seedbeds and pressed into the soil to provide good seed-to-soil contact. Competition from invasive species and other seeded species must be minimized by site preparation practices and use of appropriate seeding strategies and equipment. Precipitation is often a major factor in determining seeding success on drier sites. Postseeding monitoring and careful management are necessary to maintain stands and provide feedback for improving future seeding efforts. Additional research and technological developments are required to better estimate and maintain big sagebrush seed quality, provide required seedbed conditions, and reestablish mixed seedings of big sagebrush and associated natives.


Shaw, Nancy L.; DeBolt, Ann M.; Rosentreter, Roger. 2005. Reseeding big sagebrush: techniques and issues. In: Shaw, Nancy L.; Pellant, Mike; Monsen, Stephen B., eds. Sage-grouse habitat restoration symposium proceedings; 2001 June 4-7, Boise, ID. Proceedings RMRS-P-38. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 99-108.