Dave Buckner, a very well respected plant ecologist out of Boulder, Colorado
and owner of ESCO Associates, has given several talks where he has presented
his data on intermediate wheatgrass. He is very fortunate as he has years
of data from mined land reclamation sites in the West. My recollection is
that he has not only found intermediate wheatgrass to be persistent, but to
also increase over time and even dominate.
Just an FYI and I would bet Dave would enjoy sharing his thoughts if you
ever connected with him.
E.M. Ecological, LLC
Carbondale, CO 81623
Please understand all of our seeding projects are native but our biologist
includes one non-native species other than cover crop. Intermediate
wheatgrass is supposed to disappear over time (though I have my doubts).
Since 1977 Nebraska has used warm season grasses for all roadside seeding.
We have been doing this much longer than Iowa because fescue will not
survive in the western part of the state. We do seed natives next to brome
but if the brome invades we don't spray it. Some of the best tools for
managing native grasslands however are unavailable to us: prescribed burning
and grazing. I'm always pleased to see a grass fire on the interstate
caused by a burning vehicle as long as no one is hurt. Thanks so much for
all of your input and it's true that some of our roadsides are important
refugia for rare native species. The threatened western prairie fringed
orchid, lady's slipper, and many other rare plants thrive in our ditches and
we protect them.
Alison - I think you point out practical problems that exist that need to be
account into various strategies and techniques available.
I will not try to define a weed, but I think it is clear that any plant that
is not historically
native (natural) to a given area and that has a known or any likely tendency
into adjoining open spaces should not be planted in any roadside projects,
in response to mitigation of projects of all kinds which roads are also
often a very
large part of - suppose you have hundreds of miles of roads that lead to oil
pads in an otherwise remote area and which intersect rare plant habitat -
wouldn't want to introduce something new into that area for many reasons
Oftentimes too, roadsides are one of the few refuges for native plants in
So, in my opinion, roadsides should most definitely be viewed as more of a
restoration than not, and whenever possible that approach should be taken.
available open lands in fact should use natural/native components to the
So it is indeed sad that you reseed an area adjoining a brome pasture with
That would seem to add fuel to the fire. If the brome is going to invade
not still seed with something else? Part of the problem is that these are
year projects and not single one-shot problems yet agencies are not taking
account (no doubt due to lack of funding, understanding, etc.). Agencies
ultimately change their approach somehow. Part of the problem is that
causing the disturbance in the first place is not paying their full share in
with the damage that they are causing. That is where the money should at
part be coming from.
So to answer one question, I would say absolutely not. This discussion is
limited to any geographic area whatsoever. It applies to anywhere in the
As to laws that require otherwise, we are all forced to comply with rules
regulations that we do not necessarily agree with or that were not
based on good science (or should be changed based on newer knowledge). So
comply, but we work and strive for change based on the best available
based on an ecosystem approach as our model. The lack of available seed
a problem as you point out, but one that with more enlightened laws and
would lead to the growing of ecotypes that could hypothetically support the
techniques were developed, or at least that would be the ideal.
Yes there is a lot of frustration that I think we all share. But we can do
so we have to start somewhere. So, why not with roadsides? We've covered
planet with more roads than anything else and we don't appear to be
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How does this group define a weed? Are naturalized plants like lambs
viewed the same as native ragweed? I'm very confused by the insistence on
native purity. I don't think it's possible in the Midwest. I work for a
agency and we seed 98% native species, not local ecotype. But when our
adjoins a brome pasture, brome will invade and we cannot spend public
prevent that. Is this discussion confined to the great basin and
Is everyone aware of the clean water act and the requirements of the NPDES
construction permit? Anywhere more than 1 acre is disturbed (unless you're
farmer) a construction stormwater permit is required and remains open until
the pre-construction/native, perennial vegetation is restored. Most of the
we are regrading and seeding were brome. Native prairie vegetation,
mixed grass areas will provide less vegetative cover than the brome and
will potentially discharge more sediment into our waterways (if you believe
RUSLE2 model). I'm not advocating brome, just want to point out the mixed
messages out there and conflicting expectations. We must stabilize erodible
within 14 days under the clean water act to protect our waterways. This
state uses a
mix of cool and warm season grasses to meet this requirement along with some
forbs. It is not a restoration mix.
I also grow local ecotype seed and obviously support its use but there is
of this seed in our area to restore roadsides and there doesn't appear to be
public support for this endeavor in terms of dollars from FHWA, the state
government or wealthy donors. I applaud all of the research that Craig and
doing but am frustrated by the assumption that roadsides are restorations.
don't have the resources to pull it off.
From: apwg-bounces@list... [mailto:apwg-bounces@list...] On Behalf Of Craig Dremann
- Redwood City Seed Company
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:07 AM
To: apwg@list... Subject: [APWG] Why not succeed the first time, with Performance Standards?
Dear Wayne and All,
Thanks for your email.
Did everyone enjoy the Europe to Africa vegetation Megatransect at
I extended the web page yesterday, to cover from the northern tip of
Norway (70N) to the southern tip of Africa (34S). How about those rocks
in Mali at 18N?
What I am suggesting, is that we start looking for weed management or
Ecological Restoration methods, with Performance Standards, for our
projects, espcially the government-funded ones, like habitat restoration,
or highway roadsides, etc.
Up to now, when someone purchased local native seeds, or purchased native
plants from a nursery, there was a hope that the seed company or the
nursery would be able to tell you, how to plant those seeds or plants, so
they would succeed and thrive in a wildlands situation.
Being the owner of a seed company and nursery myself, it is all that a
seed company or nursery can do for the price, to deliver good germinating,
weed-free native seeds, or nurseries to deliver healthy native plants---to
expect them to give you any advice on how to plant them in a wildlands
situation, is way, way beyond the scope of their work.
Successful technologies on planting those natives back into wildlands, and
getting them to survive, is a separate, very expensive puzzle to solve,
and is going to require a separate, very significant investment.
A similar situation happened in the computer industry before 1967.
Computers were built and sold, and the software and operating systems were
free. But when the programs and operating systems were free, there was
no economic incentive to write better ones, so they were very slow and
clunky--it might take 12 hours to process one job, for example.
Then, in 1967, Kenneth Kolence started the first business to write and
license software, and his first product was one that is still used today,
the disk defragmentation program, which rearranged the programs on the
disk so all the parts of each program were right next to each other,
greatly speeding up the computer operations.
It seems much more efficient, to start out buying or licensing a
pre-tested weed management or ecological restoration program, that has
some solid Performance Standards supporting it?
Otherwise, the scary, horror-show of the I-505 planting in the Sacramento
valley, we see it is possible to invest $450,000 on a couple of acres,
and by using the unlicensed, public domain, off-the-shelf free restoration
technologies, still not get it right after six years and five planting
attempts? Why not succeed the first time?
Any requests, advice or opinions posted to this list reflect ONLY the
opinion of the individual posting the message.
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