SageSTEP (Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project) is a regional experiment evaluating methods of sagebrush steppe restoration in the Great Basin. Sagebrush communities have been identified as one of the most threatened land types in North America, and as much as half of this land type has already been lost in the Great Basin. From 2005-2010, fuels treatments were implemented at study sites and SageSTEP scientists began looking at the short-term effects of land management options on a variety of ecosystem components. In 2011, we began a long-term monitoring phase of the project to better understand the changes in response to treatment over time. Research results are being used to provide resource managers with information to make restoration management decisions with reduced risk and uncertainty. For summaries of SageSTEP studies and objectives, visit our About the Project page.
Scientists Featured for Cheatgrass/Grazing Research
5/16/13 - Several present and former SageSTEP scientists have been featured in the media for a study that recently appeared in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Michael Reisner, James Grace, David Pyke, and Paul Doescher studied the role that gaps between perennial plants play in enhancing cheatgrass invasibility. Their research found that when livestock and wildlife overgraze rangeland, they can trample soil and thin out native bunchgrasses. Degradation of native bunchgrasses and trampling that disturbs biological soil crusts creates bare spots where cheatgrass thrives. In this way overgrazed land can lose the mechanisms to resist invasion.
Research results communicate environmental connections and larger ecosystem story
- The Human Dimension
- The Woodland Experiments
- Sage-Cheat Experiments
Read our 2013 general fact sheet to find a two-page description of who we are, what we are doing, and what we have planned. Find a quick summary of research results for fire behavior consequences, native versus exotic vegetation, social and economic considerations and more.
There are many organizations in the Great Basin with an interest in the management of sagebrush rangelands. A SageSTEP publication and online resource, Guide to Stakeholder Groups for Great Basin Sagebrush Steppe Restoration, provides information about stakeholder groups to assist managers as they deal with issues facing these systems.
As land managers work to incorporate the priorities of stakeholders into restoration plans, they may avoid conflicts and be better prepared to address conflicts when they arise.
Cheatgrass poses a challenge to land managers dealing with health of forests and woodlands. This field guide, along with a series of field guides covering other weed species in the Southwest is available from the USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region. It covers ecology, management, and control strategies.
Guides are available in PDF format
Produced December 2012
This guide is written for anyone interested in learning more about sagebrush species and habitats. It provides descriptions of some of the remarkably diverse sagebrush communities in western North America. The different kinds of sagebrush are identified primarily through pictures and dialogue. Diagrams and maps show where you might find the species in the landscape.
The Pocket Guide to Sagebrush is now available in PDF form. Best viewed in a smaller window.
This guide was made possible by Utah State University's College of Natural Resources and Intermountain Herbarium, staffs of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO) Conservation Science.
What SageSTEP Can Do for You
2012 Field Day Information Available Online
SageSTEP Butterfly Communities: A Story of Variation in Space and Time