Keeping Rangelands Healthy by Keeping out Weeds
Invasive and noxious weeds degrade rangelands and habitat for sage grouse. The weeds compete with native and desirable plant species. They increase soil erosion, reduce water quality, and often increase fire frequency. Invasive weeds that are causing problems in the West for sage grouse habitat include cheatgrass, medusahead rye, white-top, leafy spurge, various thistles, and knapweed. Once rangelands are taken over by certain weeds like cheatgrass and medusahead rye, they are extremely hard to eradicate. The best hope for sage grouse is to prevent or hinder the spread of noxious weeds - through early detection and removal, and grazing practices that keep native plants healthy.
Medusahead rye has overtaken this rangeland in eastern Oregon.