At first, it looks innocent enough. It sprouts from the ground as a sliver of green grass. Soon thereafter, it grows in height and develops a drooping seed head. But then it turns brown and that seed, if it doesn’t attack and burrow into the socks of unsuspecting hikers, drops on the ground and multiplies in a tremendous fashion.
It’s called cheatgrass and wildlife do not like it any better than humans do. It outcompetes and overcomes native grasses and vegetation.
Come August, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners continue their assault on cheatgrass in northwest Wyoming by launching what they call the Cheatgrass Mitigation Program. According to Buckrail, the goal is to treat 7,000 acres from Jackson to Hoback Canyon.
Since cheatgrass dries so early in the summer, it is also increases the risk of wildfire.
RMEF is a long-time advocate of treating invasive weeds. Go here to watch a brief video focusing on a recently completed 10-year project in another part of Wyoming.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)