You are here: home   Issues   188   Optimism for Nevada's weedy wasteland

Optimism for Nevada's weedy wasteland

Document Actions
Dear HCN,

I've been working with reclamation in the Great Basin for 17 years and personally know the learned gentlemen interviewed by Jon Christensen. Your article left me feeling like all our efforts over the years (HCN, 5/22/00: Save Our Sagebrush) have little show.

I agree that the crested wheat plantations are more like museums than positive successional states. Likewise, the weeds are overwhelming and new species are invading all the time. However, at several of our project sites we are having success germinating the native grasses and shrubs that all parties are interested in.

These sites may never return to their predisturbance condition, due to the radical disruptions in landform and soil conditions, but if the natives are germinated and we can witness seral advance, I will continue to be optimistic that we can heal our wounds.

We have worked on the Sierra Pacific utility corridor from Reno to Oregon and, even though the progress has been slow, after four years, we have successfully established many sections with pre-disturbance native grasses. Likewise, at several of our Great Basin mine sites, if we pay attention to soils and seeding techniques, we are germinating diverse native communities. Even in Reno, we have success at several sites with establishing diverse native communities. At all of these sites, native grasses are holding their own against the shrubs, and I suspect that the absence of cattle is allowing these grasses to proliferate.

In the end, restoration is an evasive condition. These plant communities evolved over thousands of years and our projects may just be ecological Band-Aids. Our children and grandchildren will be better judges of our successes and failures.

Ed Kleiner
Reno, Nevada

The writer is CEO of Comstock Seed.

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  5. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone