Implications of longer term grazing rest in the sagebrush steppe

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This review of the literature found that in general long-term rest and modern properly managed grazing produce few significant differences. However, some topic areas have not been adequately studied to accurately predict the influence of long-term rest compared to managed grazing. In some situations, not grazing can cause an accumulation of fine fuels that increase fire risk and severity and, subsequently, the probability of sagebrush steppe rangelands converting to exotic annual grasslands. Shifts in plant communities (i.e., exotic annual grass invasion and western juniper encroachment), caused in part from historical improper grazing, cannot be reversed by long-term rest.

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