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Brenda's Blog

Posted 8/28/2008 3:23pm by Dawnetta Hauth.

 Blog August 28, 2008

Have you ever thought as you are driving down the road, you know the road-  the 2 lane, no shoulder, open range signs, an occasional cattle guard to jog your mind kind of road, that you might not exactly look at the country you are traveling through the same as many or even most folks?  Those of us who care deeply of the Great Basin landscape relish seeing the many miles yet to travel (Ok, maybe not, particularly with the gas gauge moving ever so quickly to the left).   Never the less, you can feel the energy of the earth in the Great Basin, and if you can’t feel it you sure enough can see it.    I have had more than one friend and acquaintances tell me they couldn’t bear go through that country again – ‘there’s nothing to see’ they say.  That statement in itself is what is so alluring about the Great Basin – the landscape tricks most people into thinking there is nothing to see but those in the know, know the complexities of the landscape and how much there really is going on out there. 

            I have always gone down those roads first thinking of the beauty and the energy of the land.  But I find myself more so than ever before looking, scanning the land, compartmentalizing it – trying to determine what is it that makes an area resistant to annual grass invasion, looking for those healthy perennial grasses clumped in and among sagebrush stands.   Scanning for patterns, asking myself “does medusahead gain a foothold in the draws or the south slope or north slope?”  Looking for anything that might provide clues about how cheatgrass and medusahead gain ground.  Trying to determine what it is about an area infested with annual grasses or if it is infested with annual grasses?   All this at 75 mph, about as fast as my mind is churning with ideas for the landscape and how those of us who are involved in the area-wide project can make a positive impact on the Great Basin landscape. 

            In a way, I believe this is what we are faced with, our challenge in the next 5 years – to get more people to go down those roads and think what constitutes healthy rangeland, notice advancing invasions of cheatgrass and medusahead and care enough to get involved, or change their management practices and paradigms about the Great Basin.  It’s all rather heady in the beginning, isn’t it?  But what is going to matter is how we get down to business and get ecologically based management principles adopted on the ground.  I know it’s going to take a lot of energy and I for one am going to find that energy in the land.  EBIPM - It’s going to be the good news.