Sage Whiz Quiz | How Are Weeds Linked To Wildfire?

The Soda Fire burned nearly 280,000 acres of sagebrush country in Idaho and Oregon. Photo: BLM IdahoJuly 2, 2018

The Soda Fire burned nearly 280,000 acres of sagebrush country in 2015. Photo: BLM Idaho

Fun Facts 

1. Weeds like cheatgrass and medusahead-rye are called “invasive annual grasses.”

2. These non-native grasses dry out much earlier than native vegetation and ignite more easily,  leading to hotter, more frequent wildfires that spread rapidly.

3. After wildfires, weeds can more easily take over the landscape, creating a vicious cycle that disrupts water and soil cycles, degrades wildlife habitat, and reduces forage for livestock. 

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Sagebrush country sustains 350 species as well as hundreds of rural communities and our way of life in the American West. The Sage Grouse Initiative works with ranchers on conservation strategies that benefit working lands and wildlife.

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Why Is Cheatgrass Bad?

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The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.