Great Basin Native Ecosystem Restoration

The Reveg Edge, consulting services, inventing licensed ecological restoration technologies - Box 361 Redwood City, CA 94064 - Phone (650) 325-7333
Craig Carlton Dremann, owner.
Photos and text copyright © 1997, 2001, 2010, 2017 and 2020 by Craig C.Dremann

The 1993-1995 planting for the 100-mile gas pipeline from Alturas to Susanville through BLM lands. Original test plot site in Lassen County, at US 395 Post Mile 100.00 and junction of Ram Horn Spring Road, is permanently preserved as a Native Plant Study Area.

Great Basin restoration Great 
Basin restoration Great Basin restoration
Choose between failure and success. Cheatgrass, left, or solid local natives with no weeds, on right.

Successful Great Basin Native Grassland restoration relies a few basic concepts:

1. Plant very small scale test plots, with LOCAL GENETIC material.

2. NEVER use seed MIXES, or native CULTIVARS, or non-local seed.

3. Use VERY SMALL test plot sizes
and try many different local species and varied treatments. The size for each treatment for this project, was 3 feet by 6 feet. If your methods do not work on 18 square feet, it is not going to work on 18,000 acres or 180,000 acres like some of the Nevada, Idaho and Oregon cheatgrass fires are producing.

4. Keep planting, until you achieve SUCCESSFUL small scale test plots for each species.

5. Check for the GRANIVORE-desires for every native seeds you want to plant, both ants and rodents, and invent methods to stop robbing and caching the seeds.

6. Learn to use the ALLELOCHEMICAL effects of the native plants, and you will be able to produce successes every time, with allelochemicals suppressing the weed seeds from ever sprouting.

7. Expand successes over larger areas, ONLY after you have produced successful techniques in your test plots.

6. Plan your BUDGET for the larger area, to be able to have the ecotype seeds collected locally by professional collectors, and contract for commercial bulk reproduction of those locally collected seeds.

Performance standards for local Great Basin native grasses, within two years from sowing, should produce the following plant diameters:

Blue bunch wheatgrass = 3", Great Basin wild rye = 5", Indian Ricegrass = 3-5", Poa = 2", Sitanion = 6" and Thurber's Stipa = 4".

Within one year or less, you need as close to 100% native cover. If not, start your test plots over.

Photos below, the restored pipeline route with Bluebunch Wheatgrass,
cheatgrass-free, five years after sowing.

Great Basin restoration Great Basin restoration
Great Basin restoration
25 YEARS LATER, original test plot site is a "Native Plant Study" area, located in Lassen County along US 395 PM 100.00, off Ram Horn Springs Road. Photo below, the restored pipeline route.

Great Basin restoration

EXAMPLE of what you NEVER want to see happen in any of your test plots:
burn seeds sowing

US government-sponsored 2019 native seed sowing in a study plot. Results one year after sowing natives for the Rebel Creek fire, a single native squirreltail plant sprouted, surrounded by an ocean of cheatgrass seedlings? Proper seeding methods used anywhere in the Great Basin, should be able to produce solid natives with very close to zero cheatgrass within six months. Photo from the USFWS June 2020 report "Using local seeds to save the sage" by Joanna Gilkeson. Photo by Sarah Kulpa, USFWS.

The Reveg Edge, Box 361, Redwood City, CA 94064 (650) 325-7333 -

Craig Carlton Dremann - email

Updated December 20, 2022 - Go to The Reveg Edge website