CSR construction crews are busy mobilizing and staging equipment and materials for the Ruby Pipeline Restoration project. The semi has been heavily used to transport our equipment. Pictured here are 2 UTVs and 4 ATVs ready for departure.
The Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is the largest grouse in North America, where it is known as the Greater Sage-Grouse. Its range is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. A population of smaller birds, known in the U.S. as Gunnison Sage-Grouse, were recently recognized as a separate species. The Mono Basin population of Sage Grouse may also be distinct.
Adults have a long, pointed tail and legs with feathers to the toes. Adult males have a yellow patch over the eye, are greyish on top with a white breast, a dark brown throat and a black belly; two yellowish sacs on the neck are inflated during courtship display. Adult females are mottled grey-brown with a light brown throat and dark belly.
This species is a permanent resident. Some move short distances to lower elevations for winter. These birds forage on the ground. They mainly eat sagebrush, also insects and other plants. Sage Grouse do not have a muscular crop and are not able to digest hard seeds like other grouse. They nest on the ground under sagebrush or grass patches.
Sage Grouse are notable for their elaborate courtship rituals. Each spring males congregate in leks and perform a “strutting display”. Groups of females observe these displays and select the most attractive males to mate with. The dominate male located in the center of the lek typically copulates with around 80% of the females on the lek. Males perform in leks for several hours in the early morning and evening during the spring months. Lek generally occur in open areas adjacent to dense sagebrush stands, and the same lekking ground may be used by grouse for decades. (info source)
(Article/photo shared from Hobby Farms)
Goats for weed control
Goats are useful animals, providing us with milk, meat and wool. It today’s world, some goats have found new ways to help humans get through the day. One goat activity that is gaining interest throughout the United States is weed control. Weeds are tasty to most goats, which are natural browsers. This makes goats an excellent method to control unwanted vegetation without the use of herbicides or heavy equipment. This method of keeping weeds to a minimum, called “mitigation,” helps reduce the risk of brush fires.
In the Western United States, the use of goats for weed control is becoming popular. Some goat owners have started small businesses, hiring their goats out to land owners and even government municipalities for vegetation control.
Building a Weed-control Goat Herd
To be part of a herd of weed control goats, a goat must be calm and easily manageable and must have a good appetite—not overly fussy about what it eats. Read more about various goat breeds
Goats of different sizes are a good idea in a herd of weed control goats since each size goat will focus on plants that are most suitable to its stature. A herd made up of large, medium and small goats will provide the most effective weed control in an area.
The size of the herd of weed-control goats doesn’t matter—any number of goats will do the job. However, the smaller the herd, the smaller the amount of land will be that the goats can browse. A herd of five or six goats can’t be expected to clear out many acres of land, but they can be effective on smaller lots.
Vegetation control is a great way for goats to satisfy their natural urge to browse while helping keep brush fire risks and herbicide use to a minimum. Weed control goats also help their owners earn extra money while providing a positive image of goats to the general public.
CSR Stewardship crews recently conducted a cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) chemical application. Spot-spraying was used to reduce non-target damage. Evidence of successful Indian Ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) germination was also documented.
I Love Our Earth, by Bill Martin, Michael Sampson. Celebrate our home in this joyous, poetic tribute to the Earth’s colors, climates, and seasons. Panoramic photographs capture the majesty of nature from swirling deserts to curling ocean waves. Close-ups reveal quieter treasures like springy moss and sunlit leaves. Tying all these wonders together are the faces of children from around the globe, reflecting our shared connection to the planet.
The Three R’s: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle (What Do You Know About? Books), by Nuria Roca. The three R’s teaches us many things we can do to reduce pollution. When we Reduce the number of different things we throw away–such as plastic bags–we help to keep the land where we live clean and the water that we drink fresh. It is also a good idea to Reuse; for example, by finding new uses for hand-me-downs that we might otherwise be tempted to throw away. And we can Recycle things like paper, cans, and bottles by placing them in collection areas where they can be picked up and made into new and useful things. Remembering these three R words is a good way for us to help make our planet a good place to live.
Lets Celebrate Earth Day, by Peter Roop
Using a question-and-answer format, the Roops introduce the history and importance of Earth Day. They discuss Senator Gaylord Nelson’s creation of the celebration in 1970; the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire that led to the Clean Water Act; the concept of endangered species; some positive results of forest fires; and recycling. Full-color artwork appears on every page, breaking up the text and clarifying information. Numerous sidebars, some incorporated into the illustrations, supplement the basic facts, and quotes, most from famous Americans, decorate the endpapers. The authors also include directions for creating a composting tower using plastic soda bottles. Kay Weisman
Earth Day: An Alphabet Book, by Gary Kowalski. Children and adults will delight in Earth Day, a litany of gratitude that celebrates earth’s diverse species, from apricots to groundhogs to junebugs, from quahogs to zinnias, zucchini and zebras with bright and whimsical illustrations. In alphabetical order, the wonders of nature arise from the page, reminding readers that every day is a reason to give thanks and that miracles are as simple as ABC.
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. The now remorseful Once-ler –our faceless, bodiless narrator– tells the story himself. Long ago this enterprising villain chances upon a place filled with wondrous Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba- loots, and Humming-Fishes. Bewitched by the beauty of the Truffula Tree tufts, he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market Thneeds. (“It’s a shirt. It’s a sock. It’s a glove. It’s a hat.”) As the trees swiftly disappear and the denizens leave for greener pastures, the fuzzy yellow Lorax (who speaks for the trees “for the trees have no tongues”) repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his words of wisdom are for naught. Finally the Lorax extricates himself from the scorched earth (by the seat of his own furry pants), leaving only a rock engraved “UNLESS.” Thus, with his own colorful version of a compelling morality play, Dr. Seuss teaches readers not to fool with Mother Nature. But as you might expect from Seuss, all hope is not lost–the Once-ler has saved a single Truffula Tree seed! Our fate now rests in the hands of a caring child, who becomes our last chance for a clean, green future.
Native Focus: Indian Ricegrass, Achnatherum hymenoides, produces graceful inflorescence, 1 to 3 ft high & is used as an ornamental bunching grass in the landscape. The sage-green, wiry foliage and ivory-colored seedheads give the grass an overall light, airy appearance. Foliage turns tan when dormant. Indian Ricegrass is a highly drought tolerant native bunchgrass. The seed has a hard coat that prolongs dormancy, taking up to two years for an area that has been seeded to become fully established.
Seeds are sought by birds and small mammals and is palatable for most grazing animals. It can sustain relatively high grazing pressure if it is allowed to produce enough seed for reproduction. Indian ricegrass decreases under grazing because grazing removes the seeds, and therefore plants are not replaced. Ricegrass attracts birds and butterflies and is a larval host for Skippers, a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae.
Seeds of Indian Ricegrass were once ground for flour, mixed with water and cooked into a mush by the Montana Indians, Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Paiute, and others. (Lady Bird Johnson)
Indian Ricegrass is available from the CSR Nursery and is also included in our Intermountain Wildflower and Greenfire seed mixes.
CSR crews recently installed native trees along Silver Creek, ID for habitat opportunities and to shade the water. Shade reduces water temperature and provides over-hanging vegetation, which increases the amount of insects that fall into the water. Both of these characteristics will improve the fish habitat in Silver Creek. Protective cages reduce the damage caused by deer and elk browsing.
Invasive Focus: Polygonum x bohemicum, Bohemian Knotweed, are usually 6.5 to 10 feet tall, shorter in dry areas. Stems are stout, cane-like, hollow between the nodes, somewhat reddish-brown and usually branched. The plants die back above ground at the end of the growing season. However, the dead reddish brown canes often persist throughout the winter. The stem nodes are swollen and surrounded by thin papery sheaths. Leaves can be either spade or heart-shaped, usually more heart-shaped lower down on the stems and more spade-shaped near the branch ends. This variability in leaf shape is one identifying character since the parent species generally have either heart-shaped or spade-shaped leaves. The leaves are also intermediate in texture between the parent species – thicker and rougher than giant knotweed but less so than Japanese knotweed. On flowering stems, leaf tips are characteristically long and gradually tapered.
One key identifying feature is the hairs on the leaf undersides especially along the midvein. Bohemian knotweed has hairs that are short and broad-based (triangular-shaped), compared with long and wavy in giant knotweed and reduced to barely noticeable bumps in Japanese knotweed. These hairs are easiest to see with a hand lens during the spring and summer, often falling off later in the season.
The flowers are small, creamy white to greenish white, and grow in showy plume-like, branched clusters from leaf axils near the ends of the stems. Flower clusters are generally about the same lenght as the subtending leaf, unlike the shorter flower clusters found on giant knotweed and the longer clusters found on Japanese knotweed. Leaf and flower characters are most reliable when looking near the middle of a branch. The fruit is 3-sided, black and shiny. (photo and info source)