A short film produced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Conservation Northwest.
This sageSTEP short features Beth Newingham.
The first installment of SageSTEP shorts features Bruce Roundy.
Watch video, 11:45
Six ranchers are working with the Bureau of Land Management during the spring months to reduce fuel loads (mostly cheatgrass) on the front side of the Owyhee Mountains in Idaho with tightly controlled cattle grazing. The goal is for the cattle to “mow” cheatgrass and grasslands to a 2-3 inch stubble height for 30 miles (200 feet wide on either side of a road) from March 1 – June 30. This is the fourth year of the experimental project.
The larger goal is to stop large “mega” fires that are burning up high-quality grasslands and sage-steppe habitat in the Great Basin — habitat that’s crucial to support wildlife, songbirds, and livestock grazing.
So far, the BLM and the ranchers are happy with the results. A research project by the BLM and USDA Agricultural Research Service is evaluating the use of cattle to create fire breaks in the Owyhees, Elko, Nev., and Lakeview, Ore. The research takes a broader look at what techniques work best.
View short video (6:30)
Southwest FireCLIME is a multi-year research partnership between scientists and resource managers to synthesize current knowledge of regional climate-fire-ecosystem dynamics. Our project has addressed this goal through science synthesis, an annotated bibliography, modeling, a vulnerability assessment, and Fire-Climate adaptation tools.
Wildfire has historically played an important role in the health and structure of Oregon’s dry forests. Prescribed fire is a valuable tool used to restore forest health, increase firefighter safety, and better protect nearby human resources in these fire-adapted landscapes.
Access the videos ranging from about 1:30-10:00 in length.
The most common misconception of wildfire is that all fire is bad. But there are important benefits that smaller and more frequent fires offer to the environment. Matt Jolly, an ecologist at the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, talks about the natural and important role of fire in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
They gobble up air, rub their wings across their chest feathers, and make a popping noise. It’s the mating call of the sage grouse – and the sound of dawn every spring in Oregon’s high desert. But sage grouse are in trouble across the West because humans keep carving up the desert for their own uses.