Article: Why the West is losing Sagelands

dicotAugust 2, 2008

A very good, sad and long article from today's LA Times about the cycle of fire and invasives that is taking out millions of acres of the Western US's sagebrush. Of course, some of what they are refering to is Artemesia, but mainly it is Salvia related.

This part I fould especially interesting, "...Sage reseeding "is a crapshoot," Pellant says. If there's not enough moisture or it's too hot, the tiny sage seeds -- the size of specks of ground pepper -- dry out and won't germinate. Freezes can kill infant plants. Another fire will wipe them out.

Simply figuring out the best reseeding techniques has required an inventor's ingenuity. In the 1980s, the first sage reseeding attempts were made from the back of a pickup truck. Then the "Jarbridge sagebrush seeder" was devised. It worked like a big fertilizer spreader pulled behind a truck, followed by a row of rolling tires to press the seeds into the soil.

Aerial drops have been the favored method because they can quickly cover large areas. But they often don't work because the sage seed spreads too lightly on the ground. Federal researchers are working with engineers to modify farm seeding equipment to apply sage with other natives...",0,910822.story

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Alright, no one else found this as interesting as I did. I will bump this thread along by saying I just watched a pure orange bumblebee dancing around my S. guarantica for the last hour. I've seen orange-striped ones before, but never one a solid orange top and bottom.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:48PM
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I understand your plight,Rich,Pat McNeal and Robin are at the Salvia conference in your State. My State (Texas) has lost lots of Salvia populations including the federally endangered S.penstemonoides taken out by a flood. Because some people have this notion that the only tree good tree
is a Oak tree.Removing other tree's,grasses as well as other plants farther upstream.Plus not creating any type of detention ponds upstream to protect such a asset. This
population numbered 1200 + individuals.So I'am working with a local Botanical garden to protect this rare plant. Hoping to get enough established so we can distribute seed to other Botanical Gardens .In addition to other local Salvias (from local diverse populations) and some Artemesia's and Sage(Leucophyllum spp.).I plan to have some educational realted plants in the labiatae,Acanthaceae,Campanulaceae , Scrophulariaceae,etc..
Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:58PM
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