Tag: snow

Stands of conifers evenly distributed snow compared with drifting snow in a treeless sagebrush landscape. Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research ServiceNew Report: Maintaining Sagebrush-Covered Landscapes Keeps Water on the Land for Ranchers and Wildlife

August 4, 2016

by Justin Fritscher | Removing invading conifer trees improves the health of sagebrush ecosystems, providing better habitat for wildlife and better forage for livestock. And now, new science shows these efforts may also help improve late-season water availability, which is crucial for ecosystems in the arid West.

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Wet areas are critical for sage grouse in late summer -- removing encroaching conifers helps retain water for the benefit of wildlife and ranching operations.Sagebrush Rangelands Help Maintain Water Availability

August 3, 2016

Water delivery is delayed by an average of nine days in sagebrush systems compared to juniper-dominated systems. Holding water later into the summer season helps the sagebrush system become more diverse, benefiting vegetation, wildlife, and ranchers. This is one of the greatest services that an ecosystem can provide in the West.

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