Abert Rim Seeding
In July of 1959, a fire caused by lightning burned most of the area between
Highway 395 and the base of the rim to the east of this location.
In the fall, 700 acres were sprayed to kill sagebrush, 1,500 acres were
plowed, and an additional 2,000 acres were all seeded with crested wheatgrass.
Prior to the fire, this area provided 320 AUMs, An AUM
(Animal Unit Month) is the grass needed to supply one
cow and calf for one month.
After the fire, fences were constructed and wells were drilled
for the livestock water supply. By 1964 increased
vegetation in this area provided 3,150 AUMs of feed.
Rest - Rotation Grazing
Fences were originally constructed
here to provide six pastures in the
seeding. In the mid 1980s, fences
were changed to create a three-
pasture grazing system. Each
pasture is grazed on a rotating
Year 1: A pasture will be grazed for
a short time in early spring, from
March to May, then allowed to grow
the rest of the year.
Year 2: The following year, that
same pasture will be trazed during
summer, in May and June, and
provides the most feed in this cycle.
Year 3: The third year in the
system, the plants are allowed a full
year of rest to produce seed and
establish new growth while restoring
plant vigor. Then the cycle begins again.
The diagram at right shows an
example year in such a system.
Wildlife on the Wing
The crested wheatgrass seeding provides
forage and ground cover for a number of
small mammals. The high populations of
small mammals provides a prime feeding
area for winged hunters. The fences and
powerlines also provide excellent perches
which allow the birds to hunt while at rest
and conserve energy.