Plants and Range Management
Ed Peterson and Karlie Smith
2011 images available for viewing here
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is important because it provides open spaces, wildlife habitat and
resources for livestock production. Range plants provide
forage for animals and wildlife. Range plants also
hold the soil in place and prevent erosion.
Some examples are:
Sage, which is actually a mint. Purple Sage is an attractive
it is not important for grazing
grass is an introduced weed. When it matures it becomes hard
stiff. It is an important forage in early spring.
Wheat grass is one of the very best native plants.
- 4 wing
salt brush will be grazed by cattle but it is not favored.
- Spiny Hop
Sage is eaten by many different animals.
a member of the rose family, it is a main food for deer in the winter.
brush can be used to tell when land is being overgrazed. The population
of rabbit brush increases in overgrazed land.
currant was an important food plant for Native Americans.
are three main
groups of range plants: grasses,
forbs, and shrubs. Grasses
have slender leaves and
stems. The veins on grasses run along the length of the leaves. Forbs include
weeds and wildflowers that
broad-leaved and grow in fields, prairies, or meadows. Shrubs
are woody plants of relatively low height, having several woody stems arising
the base and lack a single trunk. There are also grass
called sedges that have narrow,
grass like leaves, but
solid stems, and grow around rivers, streams, and springs.
plants die every year and
come back from seed. Perennial
plants come back year after year from live roots.
smaller superficial roots compared to perennial grasses.
Different range animals eat different things that humans need to manage
animals. Mule deer need more shrub growth than the antelope, which eats
grasses. Sage grouse require a very intricate
between 15-25% sagebrush coverage to survive. They eat the
forbs, and perennial grasses, but the birds also eat the soft bug nests
in perennials grasses that grow near sagebrush.
of the leaves of the sage species actually have different fluorescence
in ultraviolet light! These differences can be used to help distinguish
about plants, visit our vegetation database
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