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Post-fire monitoring of multiple riparian indicators
AdvisorSwanson, Sherman R.
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Bureau of Land Management (BLM) customarily prohibits grazing near riparianareas for two years post-fire in order to let bank stabilizing vegetation to recover.However, there is a lack of science to justify this tradition. Wildfire in northern Nevadain 2012 provided an opportunity to explore this as well as to compare spring-onlygrazing with hot-season grazing. Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) was used toevaluate riparian health and short and long-term indications of grazing impact. In thisstudy, BLM authorized grazing to resume in eight Designated Monitoring Areas (DMA)safter only one year of exclusion, contrary to custom. Four other pastures were grazedranging from zero (no exclusion) to four years of grazing exclusion. As these grazingstrategies are unreplicated, our results should not be used to infer specific treatmenteffects. While there were no significant differences found between hot-season grazedareas and spring-only grazed areas, this may be due to the time of sampling (i.e.sampling occurred during summer break from school, so observations did not capturethe full hot-season grazing impact).