Non-native brome grasses in the new National Monument
Learning from the Land: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Science Symposium Proceedings
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah
Included within the boundaries of the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument are a number of noxious weeds for which the BLM mandates control. In addition to listed weeds are nonnative brome grasses [Bromus tectorum and Bromus rubens), which can potentially convert native ecosystems to biologically impoverished annual grasslands. Although brome grasses occur virtually throughout the new Monument, they remain at relatively low biomass, with denser stands patchily distributed in former disturbances due to agriculture, road development, and fire. We discuss case studies indicating that this type of distribution often precedes habitat conversion by brome grasses, and we review various investigations related to how and why coverage expands. Measures should be taken to monitor the spread of brome grasses, and management strategies related to road development, tourism, fire, grazing, and habitat alteration and restoration should be consistent with the need to contain the distributions and abundances of these destructive weeds.
Davidson, D., and Belnap, J., 1998, Non-native brome grasses in the new National Monument, in Hill, L. M., ed., Learning from the Land: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Science Symposium Proceedings, November 4-5, 1997, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, BLM Technical Report BLM/UT/GI-98/006+1220: Cedar City, Utah, p. 161-172.