The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) High Desert District will implement the third phase of a ten-year project to chemically eradicate cheatgrass in the Lower Sage Creek Drainage on Sept. 9.
The Lower Sage Creek Drainage is located 36 miles south of Rock Springs, Wyo. and west of Highway 191. Approximately 2,000 to 2,500 acres to the west and northwest of the drainage will receive an aerial application of Plateau over a period of five to seven days. A total of 1,942 acres was treated aerially during the second phase in 2013.
Following wildfires in the Sheep Mountain and Wild Horse Basin areas in 2000, the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office worked with the University of Wyoming’s Natural Diversity Database to monitor the impacts of invasive plant species. Studies conducted in 2001 and 2012 found that cheatgrass was the only exotic species that was both widespread and common. Left untreated, cheatgrass can spread and encroach on native plant communities; as a result, annual chemical treatments of 1,200 to 4,000 acres are being used to aggressively fight the spread of cheatgrass and allow native vegetation to reestablish within the Lower Sage Creek area.
This project is possible through the contributions of Sweetwater County Weed and Pest, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Muley Fanatic Foundation and the Southwest Wyoming Sage Grouse Conservation Group.
For more information, please contact Michael Barajas at 307-367-5350.