Fire Service Industry News: New Biological Management Option Against Cheatgrass Raises Hopes

04/01/2013
A strain of naturally occurring soil bacteria tested on national wildlife refuges and other western lands may soon offer rangeland managers a safe new way to manage cheatgrass, an aggressive plant pest. Cheatgrass is a Eurasian invasive plant that is now found in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It covers hundreds of thousands of square miles, including the fragile sagebrush steppe habitat that is the home of the increasingly rare greater sage-grouse. In the Great Basin states of Nevada, Utah, Oregon and California, cheatgrass is spreading at the rate of thousands of acres per day, endangering many more animal species and habitats. Wherever cheatgrass grows, unwanted wildfires burn...

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