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.