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Virtual Field Tour - Elko, NV - July 13, 2011

Posted 8/5/2011 4:17pm by Brenda Smith.

Elko Field Tour-crested wheatgrass site

Hi folks,

If you didn’t get up to the Ecologically-based invasive plant management field tour in Elko a couple of weeks back – boy are you in luck!  Just looking at the big Nevada sky, don’t you feel like you missed out?  Organized by Kent McAdoo, Natural Resources Specialists with Univ. of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Kent has a whole lot going on up in Northern NV.  You can see Kent talking up in the middle of the picture here – everyone is looking to where he is pointing.  This plot is in some research that he has been conducted at the South Fork Stat Park, near Spring Creek.  The treatments have been conducted to look at how to diversify a healthy monoculture of crested wheatgrass.  Kent is probably saying something like “our plots do have a number of species that established including the yarrow and there is a sagebrush plant there in the middle of the plot, but the crested wheat rebounded from control efforts also”.  Eleven different native species were seeded in these plots.

 Elko Field Tour-sagebrush transplat plots

And how about them sagebrush?  Just down the trail, another experiment where Kent and Co. are looking at transplanting Wyoming big sagebrush to increase seed source diversity.  The plants in this plot were nursery stock transplanted in 2008, and looking quite healthy.  The purpose in transplanting sagebrush into monocultures of crested wheat is to increase habitat for a variety of wildlife, not the least of which is sage grouse.

Elko Field Tour-cheatgrass/glyphosate site

Here we are now, north of Elko quite a few miles – somewhere on the road out to Mountain City, Hwy 51.  You can see a pretty good infestation of cheatgrass.  Here Kent has a couple of different experiments established and I am sorry I did not adequately get a photo that shows the most promising result at this site which is a study that Kent and Earl Creech did (when Earl was the UNCE Weed Specialist, now with USU in Logan, UT), where they looked at low rates of glyphosate to control cheatgrass and release the perennial species.  They found 6 oz. of glyphosate to adequately control the cheatgrass, yet not damage the desired perennial grasses or sagebrush.

For more information on Kent’s field tour, handouts are available to download: