Sherman Swanson

Associate Professor

Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary Sciences

Areas of Study

Aquatic restoration,   Ecohydrology,   Ecology,   Geomorphology,   Monitoring,   Riparian hydrology,   Stream restoration,   Water quality,   Watershed processes,   Wetlands,  

Current Students:

Mitch Krieger (MS)
Sara McBee (MS)

Past Students:

Robert Gibson (MS)
Donald Kozlowski (MS)
Hilda Kwan (MS)
Adam McMahon (MS)
Kurtiss Schmidt (MS)
Karly Wagner (MS)

Representative Publications

Rodriguez, Karly, Sherman Swanson, Adam McMahon 2017, Conceptual Models for Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions at Pond and Plug Restored Meadows., J. Soil and Water Conservation 72(4):382-394.   Read More...

The pond and plug meadow restoration method, used for incised meadows in the Sierra Nevada Range, takes available alluvium on site to dam the incised channel in several places. Groundwater storage gained from restoration may alter flow paths and surface water availability. Water flowing through the meadow is elevated, usually to an alternate channel, and slowed by floodplain spreading, meanders, and vegetation roughness. Each dam, or plug, creates a pond, filled as the water table rises closer to the meadow surface. Expanded riparian vegetation and slowed water movement increase evapotranspiration (ET) following restoration. Landsat derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) increased by 0.07 (p <0.001) on 30 of 31 meadows. Conceptually a meadow may act as (1) a sponge, storing abundant water from snowmelt or precipitation and releasing water in dry periods; (2) a valve, regulating water outflow from springs recharging the meadow, and/or (3) a drain, allowing water from the meadow to percolate into a regional aquifer. Areas in eight northern California meadows were classified into one or more of these conceptual models using ET, summer pond and groundwater elevations, stream gauges, and climate data. Evaporation from open pond water was 20% to 80% of their summer decline (–0.11 to 1.78 m [–0.36 to 5.84 ft]) and 1% to 7% of total meadow ET. Meadow ET estimates ranged from 0.32 to 0.40 m (1.05 to 1.31 ft). Water from springs captured by historic channel incision can be redirected from discharge to meadow restoration and ET. This study was conducted in a dry period and the data reflect effects of below average precipitation.

Swanson, Sherman, Don Kozlowski, Robert Hall, Daniel Heggem, John Lin. 2017, Riparian Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Assessment to Improve Watershed Management for Water Quality., J. Soil and Water Conservation, 72(2):190-204.   Read More...

Pollutants can be reduced, ameliorated, or assimilated when riparian ecosystems have the vegetation, water, and soil/landform needed for riparian functions. Loss of physical form and ecological function unravels assimilation processes, increasing supply and transport of pollutants. Water quality and aquatic organisms are response measures of accumulated upstream discharges, and ultimately of changes in riparian functions. Thus, water quality monitoring often fails to identify or lags behind many causes of pollution or remediation from riparian degradation. This paper reviews the interagency riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) assessment for lotic (running water) riparian ecosystems and outlines connections between PFC and water quality attributes (sediment, nutrients, temperature, and dissolved oxygen [DO]). The PFC interaction of hydrology, vegetation, and soils/landforms influences water quality by dissipating energy associated with high waterflow, thereby reducing vertical instability and lateral erosion while developing floodplains with captured sediment and nutrients. Slowing flood water enables aquifer recharge, deposition, and plant nutrient uptake. Water-loving, densely rooted streambank stabilizing vegetation and/or wood helps integrate riparian functions to maintain channel pattern, profile, and dimension with characteristics for a diversity of habitats. A complex food web helps slow the nutrient spiral with uptake and storage. Temperature fluctuations are dampened by delayed discharges, narrower and deeper active channels, coarser substrates that enhance hyporheic interchange, and shade from riparian vegetation. After assessment and implementation, monitoring recovery of impaired
riparian function attributes (e.g., streambank plant species) naturally focuses on persistent drivers of water quality and aquatic habitat. This provides timely environmental indicators of stream ecological health and water quality remediation projects or land management.

Kozlowski, D. F., Hall, R. K., Swanson, S. R., Heggem, D. T. 2016, Linking Management and Riparian Physical Functions to Water Quality and Aquatic Habitat., Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 8(8), 797-815   Read More...

Stream and wetland riparian areas are able to sustain a state of resiliency based on the ecosystem’s ability to attain the functions of its ecological potential. This resiliency allows an area to provide and produce desired and valued water quality and aquatic habitat ecosystem services. Maintaining healthy aquatic and riparian habitats depends on “management” allowing for, or facilitating natural recovery of riparian functions. Altering grazing management practices in Maggie Creek lead to changes in riparian functionality, water quality, and aquatic habitat. Maggie Creek basin, historically renowned for its fishery, is one of only a few watersheds in Nevada capable of supporting Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (LCT) (Oncorhynchus clarkia ssp. Henshawi) meta-populations. Prior to 1993, the majority of Maggie Creek was grazed by cattle throughout the growing season. Decades of intensive grazing, water development, and road construction degraded aquatic and riparian habitats. By the early 1990’s, a majority of the Maggie Creek watershed was rated as nonfunctional or functional-at-risk condition with unstable banks, channel incision, loss of riparian vegetation, wide shallow channels, excessive erosion and deposition, reduced stream flows, and increased water temperatures. As mitigation for their 1993 South Operations Area Project mine dewatering, Newmont Mining Company, in cooperation with the Elko District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Elko Land and Livestock Company, developed the Maggie Creek Watershed Restoration Project to enhance LCT habitat. The project was developed to enhance 82 miles of stream, 2000 acres of riparian habitat and 40,000 acres of upland watershed primarily through prescriptive livestock management. Beginning in 1994, grazing systems were implemented for portions of the perennial/intermittent streams. This greatly reduced the frequency and duration of hot season grazing on Maggie Creek and its tributaries. The objective of this paper is to compare 1994 and 2006 stream and wetland riparian assessments using proper functioning condition (PFC) protocol and water quality data.

Swanson, S. R., Swanson, J., Peter, M., Mcadoo, J. K., Schultz, B. W. 2016, Mowing Wyoming Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp.wyomingensis) Cover Effects Across Northern and Central Nevada., Rangeland Ecology and Management,, 69, 360-372. \   Read More...

Many Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis) communities are invaded by exotic
annuals, especially cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), promoting larger and more frequent wildfires. Mowing
sagebrush can reduce fire risk. To identify community features favoring regeneration of native perennials over
exotic annuals, we compared paired, adjacent unmowed and mowed areas treated between 2001 and 2010 at
76 sites across northern and central Nevada. We quantified soil surface and foliar cover in 12 cover groups, as
well as slope, aspect, elevation, and time since mowing (0−10 years). We identified unmowed cover characteristics
and site covariates that best predicted herbaceous cover in mowed areas and differences in herbaceous
cover between adjacent mowed and unmowed areas. Mowed areas had significantly (P b 0.01) more absolute
cover (%) of litter (14.6), perennial grasses (4.9), cheatgrass (2.0), and exotic forbs (1.1) and less sagebrush
(−13.5), bare soil (−11.4),moss (−3.3), and rock (−0.8) than adjacent unmowed areas. Except for sagebrush,
all cover group values were correlated between unmowed and mowed areas. The “perennial balance” (perennial
minus annual herbaceous cover) was positive at 75% (57) of mowed areas and increased from unmowed to
mowed areas at 51 sites. A positive perennial balance in mowed areas was more likely where paired unmowed
areas lacked cheatgrass, had greater cover of perennial grass, and less of exotic forbs. Likewise, sites whose
unmowed areas had N 30% sagebrush cover consisting of smaller plants had larger gains in perennial balance
from unmowed to mowed areas. An increase in perennial balance from unmowed to mowed areas was more
likely in central and northeastern Nevada and at sites mowed more recently. To encourage perennial grasses
over annual herbaceous species in Wyoming big sagebrush communities, mowing is better suited to locales
lacking exotic annuals and retaining ample cover of perennial grasses and sagebrush of smaller size.

Swanson, S. R., Wyman, S., Evans, C. 2015, Practical Grazing Management to Maintain or Restore Riparian Functions and Values., Journal of Rangeland Applications/University of Idaho, Rangeland Center, 2, 1-28.   Read More...

Successful rangeland management maintains or restores the ability of riparian plant communities to capture sediment and stabilize streambanks. Management actions are most effective when they are focused on the vegetated streambank closest to the active channel, the greenline, where vegetation most influences erosion, deposition, landform, and water quality. Effective grazing management plans balance grazing periods, especially those with more time for re-grazing, with opportunities for plant growth by adjusting grazing timing, duration, intensity, and/or variation of use and recovery. Emphasizing either: a) schedules of grazing and recovery, or b) limited utilization level within the same growing season, is a fundamental choice which drives management actions, grazing criteria, and methods for short-term monitoring. To meet resource objectives and allow riparian recovery, managers use many tools and practices that allow rather than impede recovery. Economic decisions are based on both evaluation of investments and ongoing or variable costs, themselves justified by reduced expenses, increased production, or improved resource values. Ongoing management adjusts actions using short-term monitoring focused on chosen strategies. Long-term monitoring refocuses management to target priority areas first for needed functions, and then for desired resource values. Once riparian functions are established, management enables further recovery and resilience and provides opportunities for a greater variety of grazing strategies.

Kwan, H., Swanson, S. R. 2015, Prediction of Annual Streambank Erosion for Sequoia National Forest, California., J. Am Water Res. Assoc, 50(6), 1439-1447.   Read More...

ABSTRACT: Many bank erosion models have limitations that restrict their use in wildland settings. Scientists
and land managers at the Sequoia National Forest would like to understand the mechanisms and rates of
streambank erosion to evaluate management issues and post-wildfire effects. This study uses bank erosion hazard
index (BEHI) and near-bank stress (NBS) methods developed in Rosgen (2006 Watershed Assessment of
River Stability and Sediment Supply [WARSSS]) for predicting streambank erosion in a geographic area that is
dominated by colluvium and in which streambank erosion modeling has not been previously evaluated. BEHI
evaluates bank susceptibility to erosion based on bank angle, bank and bankfull height, rooting depth and density,
surface protection, and stratification of material within the banks. NBS assesses energy distribution
against the bank measured as a ratio of bankfull near-bank maximum depth to mean bankfull depth. We compared
BEHI classes and NBS to actual bank erosion measured from 2008 to 2012. This index predicted streambank
erosion with clear separation among BEHI ratings with R2 values of 0.76 for extreme, 0.37 for high/very
high, 0.49 for moderate, and 0.70 for low BEHI. The relationships between measured erosion and BEHI extend
the application of BEHI/NBS to a new region where they can inform management priorities, afforestation,
stream/riparian restoration projects, and potentially burned area rehabilitation.

Kwan, H., Swanson, S. R. 2015, Reply to discussion by David L. Rosgen. Prediction of Annual Streambank Erosion for Sequoia National Forest, California., Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 51(2), 568.   Read More...

In his response to our article, Dr. Dave Rosgen explores the possibilities for our low streambank erosion rates as compared with previous studies (Table 4). Dr. Rosgen reiterated the fact that half of the study period was conducted during dry years. With the given time frame and expiration of funding for the project, we could not choose to forego surveying during dry years and wait for bankfull years. We did, however, consider excluding these data from analysis. We found that we would not have enough data to produce meaningful correlations and so decided to include all available data. Dr. Rosgen also reiterated our suggestion of continuing data collection. Doing so will help refine the model. We agree that with enough points, relationships for flood, bankfull, and drought stages may be established separately. Another possibility considered for our lower streambank erosion rates is the lack of variety in channel characteristics. As stated in our article, the study sites were limited to riffles. The sites were located in existing monitoring reaches. Cross sections at these reaches are almost always located within riffle features. It was an oversight to not have included other features such as pools and runs during data collection. Hence, we suggested in the conclusion section to explore these features in future studies. It would be interesting to see whether having various features in the same model would weaken or strengthen the relationship between BEHI/NBS/streambank erosion, as suggested by Dr. Rosgen. If erosion rates are much less at riffles, one might think having a mixture of channel features would weaken the model while making results more broadly representative of these streams. Dr. Rosgen also suggested that we may have higher erosional rates if we are able to relocate the lost pins, or take them into consideration. If bank pins were lost, but not the top or toe pins, we still surveyed the site. Efforts were made to recover buried toe pins; we often carry a metal detector for this reason. We did take cross sections (at permanent cross-section pins), as suggested, if all other streambank erosion-related pins were gone. However, this was rarely done due to the lack of precision. Moreover, we did not resurvey the site if we did not feel comfortable replicating the same survey with less precision due to loss of pins. There were 10 sites that fell into this category. We appreciate Dr. Rosgen for taking the time to read our article and provide suggestions. We wholeheartedly agree with the need for additional data to sort out some of the ideas discussed such as various stages of flow, various channel features, and using bank-height ratio as a rapid alternative.

Svejcar,Tony, Chad Boyd, Kirk Davies, Matthew Madsen, Jon Bates, Roger Sheley, Clayton Marlow, David Bohnert, Mike Borman, Ricardo Mata-Gonza`lez, John Buckhouse, Tamzen Stringham, Barry Perryman Sherman Swanson, Kenneth Tate, Mel George, George Ruyle, Bruce Roundy, Chris Call, Kevin Jensen, Karen Launchbaugh, Amanda Gearhart, Lance Vermeire, John Tanaka, Justin Derner, Gary Frasier, Kris Havstad, 2014, . Western Land Managers will Need all Available Tools for Adapting to Climate Change, Including Grazing: A Critique of Beschta et al., Environmental Management   Read More...

In a previous article, Beschta et al. (Environ Manag 51(2):474–491, 2013) argue that grazing by large ungulates (both native and domestic) should be eliminated or greatly reduced on western public lands to reduce potential climate change impacts. The authors did not present a balanced synthesis of the scientific literature, and their publication is more of an opinion article. Their conclusions do not reflect the complexities associated with herbivore grazing. Because grazing is a complex ecological process, synthesis of the scientific literature can be a challenge. Legacy effects of uncontrolled grazing during the homestead era further complicate analysis of current grazing impacts. Interactions of climate change and grazing will depend on the specific situation. For example, increasing atmospheric CO2 and temperatures may increase accumulation of fine fuels (primarily grasses) and thus increase wildfire risk. Prescribed grazing by livestock is one of the few management tools available for reducing fine fuel accumulation. While there are certainly points on the landscape where herbivore impacts can be identified, there are also vast grazed areas where impacts are minimal. Broad scale  education of domestic and wild herbivores to help native plant communities cope with climate change will be unnecessary because over the past 20–50 years land managers have actively sought to bring populations of native and domestic herbivores in balance with the potential of vegetation and soils. To cope with a changing climate, land managers will need access to all available vegetation management tools, including grazing.

Hall, Robert K., Guilliano, David, Swanson, Sherman, Philbin, Michael J., Lin, John, Aron, Joan L., Schafer, Robin J. and Heggem, Daniel T. 2014, An ecological function and services approach to total maximum daily load (TMDL) prioritization, J. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 186(2):2413-2433 April.   Read More...

 Prioritizing total maximum daily load (TMDL) development starts by considering the scope and severity of water pollution and risks to public health and aquatic life.Methodology using quantitative assessments of in-stream water quality is appropriate and effective for point source (PS) dominated discharge, but less so in watersheds with mostly nonpoint source (NPS) related impairments. For NPSs, prioritization in TMDL development and implementation of associated best management practices should focus on restoration of ecosystem physical functions, including how restoration effectiveness depends on design, maintenance and placement within the watershed. To refine the approach to TMDL development, regulators and stakeholders must first ask if the watershed, or ecosystem, is at risk of losing riparian or other ecologically based physical attributes and processes. If so, the next step is an assessment of the spatial arrangement of functionality with a focus on the at-risk areas that could be lost, or could, with some help, regain functions.  valuating stream and wetland riparian function has advantages over the traditional means of water quality and biological assessments for NPS TMDL development. Understanding how an ecosystem functions enables stakeholders and regulators to determine the severity of problem(s), identify source(s) of impairment, and predict and avoid a decline in water quality. The Upper Reese River, Nevada, provides an example of water quality impairment caused by NPS pollution. In this river basin, stream and wetland riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) protocol, water quality data, and remote sensing imagery were used to identify sediment sources, transport, distribution, and its impact on water quality and aquatic resources. This study found that assessments of ecological function could be used to generate leading (early) indicators of water quality degradation for targeting pollution control measures, while traditional in-stream water quality monitoring lagged in response to the deterioration in ecological functions.


Schmelzer, L., B. Perryman, B. Bruce, B. Schultz, K. McAdoo, G. McCuin, S. Swanson, J. Wilker, and K. Conley. 2014, Case Study: Reducing cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) fuel loads using fall cattle grazing., The Professional Animal Scientist, 30:270-278.   Read More...

Wildfire is a major concern in the Intermountain West. Fuels management can lower the potential for negative wildfire effects. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), an exotic annual grass, invasion has resulted in a buildup of highly flammable fine fuels that promote frequent wildfire. Removal of cheatgrass standing crop through targeted, prescriptive grazing should provide a reduction in fire intensity and possibly frequency on a local basis. Spring cattle-grazing prescriptions have provided critical reductions in cheatgrass standing crop and seed production. However, annual fluctuations in timing of readiness and standing crop production pose planning difficulties for both producers and land managers. With fall grazing, the uncertainties are no longer planning obstacles. We examined the effects of pasture-scale fall grazing of cheatgrass by cattle on standing crop (fuel reduction), the perennial vegetation community, and cattle performance. Fall grazing removed significant amounts of cheatgrass standing crop during 2006 to 2009: 79, 80, 79, and 58%, respectively. Cumulatively, 675 kg/ha were removed from the fuel base, significantly reducing carryover fuels. With protein supplementation, cattle increased BCS and gained BW in all 3 yr of the assessment (0.17, 0.35, and 0.29 kg/d in 2007 to 2009, respectively). Cheatgrass seed bank decreased by 6-fold in the grazed treatment and a little more than 2-fold in the ungrazed area 2007 to 2009. Perennial plants increased standing crop production at the expense of cheatgrass production. Fall grazing of cheatgrass can remove significant amounts of fine fuel with beneficial effects to grazing animals and the perennial plant community.

McAdoo, J.K., B.W. Schultz, and S.R. Swanson. 2013, Aboriginal Precedent for Active Management of Sagebrush-Perennial grass Communities in the Great Basin., Rangeland Ecology and Management 66(3):241-253.   Read More...

Until recently, most contemporary ecologists have ignored or diminished anecdotal historical accounts and anthropologists’ reports about aboriginal fire in the Great Basin. Literature review shows that Indians practiced regular use of fire for many purposes, including the obvious reasons of increasing the availability of desired plants, maintaining habitats for animals used as food, and driving game during hunts. Historical accounts of prehistoric anthropogenic firing, inferences from fire-scar data, and data regarding annual production capability of representative sagebrush (Artemisia spp.)-perennial grass ecological sites indicate that prehistoric conditions were neither fuel- nor ignition-limited. According to many sources, this ‘‘active management’’ by Indians was widespread, significant, and more common than lightning-caused fires, resulting in mosaic vegetation patterns that subsequently moderated the behavior of ‘‘natural fires.’’ This interaction between Indian-burning and lightning fires may have strongly influenced the pre-Euro-American settlement vegetation of the Great Basin. At the very least, the landscape was a patchwork of areas altered by aboriginal people and areas shaped primarily by bio-physical processes. Based on this prehistoric precedent, current historically unprecedented conditions (fuel load and exotic weed invasion threats), and predicted climate change, contemporary active management of sagebrush-perennial grass communities is paramount. Restoration measures should be scientifically based and tailored to achieve ecological resilience and functionality in specific sites. Prescribed fire is not always ecologically appropriate or judicious, especially in Wyoming big sagebrush (A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis) communities, so managers should consider using other alternatives where an intentional low severity disturbance is deemed necessary. Properly planned active management would disrupt fuel continuity for lighthning fires, ensure ecological process and successional integrity, and benefit multiple uses on a landscape scale.

Dalldorf, K. N., S. R. Swanson, D. F. Kozlowski, K. M. Schmidt, R. S. Shane, and G. Fernandez. 2013, Influence of Livestock Grazing Strategies on Riparian Response to Wildfire in Northern Nevada., Rangeland Ecology and Management, 66(1):34-42   Read More...

In 1999–2001 wildfires burned 1.13 million ha across northern Nevada, burning through many grazed riparian areas. With increases in wildfire frequency and extent predicted throughout the Great Basin, an understanding of the interactive effects of wildfire, livestock grazing, and natural hydrologic characteristics is critical. A comparison of pre- and postfire stream surveys provided a unique opportunity to statistically assess changes in stream survey attributes at 43 burned and 38 unburned streams. Livestock grazing variables derived from an extensive federal grazing allotment inventory were used to identify interactive effects of grazing strategies, fire, and natural stressors across 81 independent riparian areas. Differences between baseline and ‘‘postfire’’ stream survey attributes were evaluated for significance using the nonparametric Mann–Whitney test for paired data. Binary logistic regression models evaluated the influence of fire, grazing, and hydrologic characteristics on observed stream survey attribute changes. Grazing attributes contributed most significantly to the bankfull width increase and bank stability rating decrease models. The odds of bankfull width degradation (increase in bankfull width) decreased where there had been rest is some recent years compared to continuous grazing. As the number of days grazed during the growing season increased, the odds of bank stability degradation also increased. The occurrence of fire was not significant in any model. Variation in the riparian width model was attributed primarily to hydrologic characteristics, not grazing. For the models in which grazing variables played a role, stream survey attributes were more likely to improve over time when coupled with a history of rotational grazing and limited duration of use during the growing season. This supports long-term riparian  functional recovery through application of riparian complementary grazing strategies.

Kozlowski, D., Swanson, S. R., Schmidt, K. 2010, Channel changes in burned streams of northern Nevada., Journal of Arid Environments 74(11), 1494-1506.   Read More...

In the Great Basin, frequency of large-fire is increasing. To better understand fire and riparian system interactions, we studied pre- to post-fire changes in ten riparian attributes of a randomly sampled reach of forty three streams burned within a three-year period. Post-fire data were collected four to six relatively dry years after late-summer wildfires in sagebrush dominated watersheds of the North Central Great Basin. All streams had been surveyed in the one to fifteen years prior to the fire. Five channel attributes improved; bankfull width decreased 21%, riparian width increased 79%, median dominant riparian vegetation increased by two categories (grass/sod to high brush), bank stability increased by one category, and median bank angle decreased. Four attributes did not change; bank cover, organic debris, bank undercuts, and embeddedness. An increase of sand by 19% in the dominant bottom material was considered unfavorable. Riparian vegetation and systems seem to be resilient and whether improvement was due to fire or changed management and time for recovery was not ascertained. Overall, degradation to stream channel attributes was minimal to non-existent suggesting riparian stability and/or resiliency.

Swanson, S. R., Gilgert, W. 2009, Fuels Management at the Landscape Scale.., Rangelands/Society for Range Management and Allen Press, 31(3), 25-29.   Read More...

Summary of workshop speaker presentations addressing "Overcoming Obstacles to Fuels Management at the Landscape Scale,”and audience input about management policy regarding grazing management to reduce fuels loading, better fuels models, pinyon juniper encroachment, working at the landscape scale, collaboration and interdisciplinary planning for science based management, with assessment and monitoring for objectives and adaptive management.” Outreach priorities and science recommendations serve
as a summary of some of the more important points raised by the audience.
• Determine the nature of irreversible thresholds favoring transitions of plant communities and soils toward invasive plants.
• Focus research on rapid and effective tools to address the urgency of the problem.
• Determine landscape dynamics affecting fi re in desert landscapes.
• Develop grazing methods to protect areas from catastrophic wildfire and reduce fuel loading, particularly where remnant perennials grow with invasive annuals.
• Determine the effects of fuels management on sagebrush ecosystems, invasive species, and ecosystem health.

Eiswerth, M. E., Krauter, K., Swanson, S. R., Zielinski, M. 2009, Post-fire seeding on Wyoming big sagebrush ecological sites: Regression., Journal of Environmental Management/Elsevier, 90(2), 1320-1325.   Read More...

Since the mid-1980s, sagebrush rangelands in the Great Basin of the United States have experienced more frequent and larger wildfires. These fires affect livestock forage, the sagebrush/grasses/forbs mosaic that is important for many wildlife species (e.g., the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)), post-fire flammability and fire frequency. When a sagebrush, especially a Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young)), dominated area largely devoid of herbaceous perennials burns, it often transitions to an annual dominated and highly flammable plant community that thereafter excludes sagebrush and native perennials. Considerable effort is devoted to revegetating rangeland following fire, but to date there has been very little analysis of the factors that lead to the success of this revegetation. This paper utilizes a revegetation monitoring dataset to examine the densities of three key types of vegetation, specifically nonnative seeded grasses, nonnative seeded forbs, and native Wyoming big sagebrush, at several points in time following seeding.We find that unlike forbs, increasing the seeding rates for grasses does not appear to increase their density (at least for the sites and seeding rates we examined). Also, seeding Wyoming big sagebrush increases its density with time since fire. Seeding of grasses and forbs is less successful at locations that were dominated primarily by annual grasses (cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)), and devoid of shrubs, prior to wildfire. This supports the hypothesis of a ‘‘closing window of  opportunity’’ for seeding at locations that burned sagebrush for the first time in recent history.

Tanaka, J., Coates-Markle, L., Swanson, S. R. 2009, SRM Center for Professional Education and Development: Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts.., Rangelands/Society for Range Management/Allen Press, 31(3), 2-5.   Read More...

In December 2008, the SRM conducted the Wildfi res and Invasive Plants in American Deserts conference and workshops in Reno, Nevada, in partnership with 26 other organizations (see sidebar). Par ticipants who benefi ted from this 2.5-day event included 309 registrants representing 17 states and 77 different universities, federal and state agencies, tribal agencies, private landowners, and companies. Our speakers, moderators, and synthesizers consisted of close to 50 individuals representing dedicated scientists, managers, and concerned citizens who provided high-quality, thought-provoking presentations. We also enjoyed 31 poster presentations  representing successful on-the-ground efforts dealing with these critical issues. The purpose of the conference was to explore the interactions among exotic invasive plants, native plants, and changing wildfi re regimes on the Colorado Plateau and in the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Mojave, and Great Basin deserts of North America

Newman, S., Swanson, S. R. 2008, Assessment of Changes in Stream and Riparian Conditions of the Marys River Basin, Nevada., Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 44(1), 1-13.   Read More...

Stream and riparian managers must effectively allocate limited financial and personnel resources to monitor and manage riparian ecosystems. They need to use management strategies and monitoring methods that are compatible with their objectives and the response potential of each stream reach. Our objective is to help others set realistic management objectives by comparing results from different methods used to document riparian recovery across a diversity of stream types. The Bureau of Land Management Elko Field Office, Nevada, used stream survey, riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) assessment, repeat photographic analysis, and stream and ecological classification to study 10 streams within the Marys River watershed of northeast Nevada during all or parts of 20 years. Most riparian areas improved significantly from 1979 to 1992-1993 and then additionally by 1997-2000. Improvements were observed in riparian and habitat condition indices, bank cover, and stability, pool quality, bank angle, and depth of undercut bank. Interpretation of repeat photography generally confirmed results from stream survey and should be part of long-term riparian monitoring. More attributes of Rosgen stream types C and E improved than of types B and F. A and Gc streams did not show significant improvement. Alluvial draws and alluvial valleys improved in more ways than V-erosional canyons and especially V-depositional canyons. Stream survey data could not be substituted for riparian PFC assessment. Riparian PFC assessments help interpret other data.

STEWART B. ROOD, CHAD R. GOURLEY, ELISABETH M. AMMON, LISA G. HEKI, JONATHAN R. KLOTZ, MICHAEL L. MORRISON, DAN MOSLEY, G. GARY SCOPPETTONE, SHERMAN SWANSON, AND PAUL L. WAGNER 2003, Flows for Floodplain Forests: A Successful Riparian Restoration, BioScience, 53(7):647-656   Read More...

Throughout the 20th century, the Truckee River that flows from Lake Tahoe into the Nevada desert was progressively dammed and dewatered, which led to the collapse of its aquatic and riparian ecosystems. The federal designation of the endemic cui-ui sucker (Chasmistes cujus) as endangered prompted a restoration program in the 1980s aimed at increasing spring flows to permit fish spawning. These flows did promote cui-ui reproduction, as well as an unanticipated benefit, the extensive seedling recruitment of Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and sandbar willow (Salix exigua). Recruitment was scattered in 1983 but extensive in 1987, when the hydrograph satisfied the riparian recruitment box model that had been developed for other rivers. That model was subsequently applied to develop flow prescriptions that were implemented from 1995 through 2000 and enabled further seedling establishment. The woodland recovery produced broad ecosystem benefits, as evidenced by the return by 1998 of 10 of 19 riparian bird species whose populations had been locally extirpated or had declined severely between 1868 and 1980. The dramatic partial recovery along this severely degraded desert river offers promise that the use of instream flow regulation can promote ecosystem restoration along other dammed rivers worldwide.

Blum, M., M. S. Gustin, S. Swanson, and S. G. Donaldson 2003, Mercury in Water and Sediment of Steamboat Creek, Nevada: Implications for Stream Restoration., J. Am. Water Res. Assoc., 37(4):795-804.   Read More...

In the late 1800s, mills in the Washoe Lake area, Nevada, used elemental mercury to remove gold and silver from the ores of the Comstock deposit.Since that time, mercury contaminated waste has been distributed from Washoe Lake, down Steamboat Creek, and to the Truckee River.The creek has high mercury concentrations in both water and sediments, and continues to be a constant source of mercury to the Truckee River.The objective of this study was to determine concentrations of total and methyl mercury (MeHg) in surface sediments and characterize their spatial distribution in the Steamboat Creek watershed.T otal mercury concentrations measured in channel and bank sediments did not decrease downstream, indicating that mercury contamination has been distributed along the creek’s length.T otal mercury concentrations in sediments (0.01–21.43 mgyg) were one to two orders of magnitude higher than those in pristine systems.At 14 out of 17 sites, MeHg concentrations in streambank sediments were higher than the concentrations in the channel, suggesting that low banks with wet sediments might be important sites of mercury methylation in this system.Both pondywetland and channel sites exhibited high potential for mercury methylation (6.4–30.0 ng g-1 day-1).Potential methylation rates were positively correlated with sulfate reduction rates, and decreased as a function of reduced sulfur and MeHg concentration in the sediments.Potential demethylation rate appeared not to be influenced by MeHg concentration, sulfur chemistry, DOC, sediment grain size or other parameters, and showed little variation across the sites (3.7–7.4 ng g-1 day-1).

Smith, H. A., W. S. Johnson, J. S. Shonkwiler, and S. S. Swanson 1999, The Implications of Variable or Constant Expansion Rates in Invasive Weed Infestations., Weed Science, 47:62-66.   Read More...

Data on the spread of invasive weeds into arid western lands are used to evaluate the environmental and economic importance of controlling invasive weed infesta- tions early. Variable rate and constant rate infestation expansion paths are estimated. The implications of variable vs. constant infestation growth rates for projecting biophysical and economic effects are illustrated. The projections derived from constant and variable growth rate expansion paths support the contention that expedient to control new infestations

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1997, Precision of Channel Width and Pool Area Measurements., J. of the Am. Water Resources Assoc., 33(3):647-659.   Read More...

The precision of width and pool area measurements has rarely been considered in relation to downstream or at section hydraulic geometr3 fisheries studies, long-term or along a continuum research studies, or agency monitoring techniques. We assessed this precision and related it to other stream morphologic characteristics. Confidence limits (95 percent) around mean estimates with four transects (cross-sections perpendicular to the channel centerline) ranged from ± 0.4 to 1.8 mon streams with a width of only 2.2 m. To avoid autocorrelation, transects should be spaced about three channel widths apart. To avoid stochastic inhomogeneity, reach length should be about 30 channel widths or ten transects to optimize sampling efficiency. Precision of width measurements decreased with decreased depth and increased with stream size. Both observations reflect variability caused by features such as boulders or coarse woody debris. Pool area precision increased with pool area reflecting increased precision for flat, wide streams with regular pool-rime sequences. The least precision occurred on small, steep streams with random, boulder or coarse woody debris formed pools.

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1997, Stochastic Modeling of Pool to Pool Structure in Small Nevada Rangeland Streams., Water Resources Research, 33(4):877-889.   Read More...

We developed, calibrated, and verified a compound Poisson process model of pool-to-pool spacing and size using an exponential distribution for spacing and gamma distributions for length and width on 12 rangeland streams in Nevada. Neither distribution parameter varied with simple stream morphologic or vegetation characteristics. We verified the model by comparing the first three moments and distributions of  stream simulations with observed streams using two transect-based sampling schemes. Very small errors stemmed from an inability to reproduce autocorrelation of width at short distances, pool cyclicity, and additional density at the tails. We conclude that the presented model is accurate for small, Nevada, rangeland streams and for pools located randomly on small streams with forced pool-riffle or step-pool sequences and regularly on larger, pool-riffle systems. Simulated streams may be used for testing stream survey procedures and hypotheses regarding pool habitat, spacing, and length.

Myers, Thomas J. and Sherman Swanson 1997, Stochastic modeling of transect-to-transect properties of Great Basin rangeland streams, Water Resources Research, 33(4):853-864.   Read More...

We developeda transect-to-transect stochastic model of stream width and pools.The model included Markov chains for transect-to-transect transitions among pools, non-pools, and part pools, a two-parameter beta distribution for pool fraction when the transect is a partial pool, and a two-parameter gamma distribution to model standardized widths. The model accurately reproduced the mean and standard deviation of both width and transect-based measures of pool area. However, the model smoothed the distributions thereby reducing the skewness of the observed data. The physical tendency for streams to have very few transects that are almost, but not totally, all pool or non-pool implies that
stochastic models based on continuous distributions will have more density in the tails than observed on the stream.The model represented o dd-shaped empiric distributions of pool area which indicates it is very flexible and can accurately model a variety of streams.

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1997, Variability of Pool Characteristics with Pool Type and Formative Feature on Small Great Basin Rangeland Streams., J. of Hydrology, 201:62-81.   Read More...

Land managers and stream restorationists often set goals or complete designs including specifications for pools that are unrealistic because Of a lack of knowledge of the potential conditions of the stream. Using 36 study sites on 17 rangeland streams in Nevada in the western United States, we determined relationships among pool and nonpool length, gradient, pool spacing, pool type and formative feature and stream type. Step pools primarily were formed by boulders while backwater pools were formed by coarse woody debris. This led to most pools being randomly located because structural pool-forming features are too large to move by the flows on these small streams. Montgomery and Buffington (1993) stream type associated with pool type and feature because of the direct linkage between the stream type definitions and pool features. Pool spacing varied only with Montgomery-Buffington stream type presumably because of its linkage with pool type and formative feature. Pool length varied with both Rosgen (1994) and Montgomery-Buffington stream type because of the relations between stream type and pool type and feature. Meander bend pools tended to be deeper because they form in erosive, fine substrate and because the spacing of forced pools may not be optimal which leads to sedimentation. Pool area did not vary with stream type but did with various formative features and pool and nonpool length. Variation of pool area with gradient and In(gradient) was significant but explained much less variation than did other parameters. Meander bend dominated reaches had the highest pool area. The variability of results and the dependence of pool measures on pool type and formative feature indicates that strict adherence to published equations or expectations due to stream type should be avoided. Land managers should set goals for pool measures based on site specific conditions rather than perceived  aquatic species needs or stream type.

Masters, L., S. Swanson, and W. Burkhardt. 1996, . Riparian Grazing Management that Worked: II. Rotation with and without Rest and Riparian Pastures., Rangelands, 18(5):196-200.   Read More...
Zonge, L. and S. Swanson 1996, Changes on Streambanks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains: A dry and wet year perspective., Restoration Ecology, 4(2):192-199.   Read More...

We summarize the findings of a two-year study of vegetation and streambank erosion on incised streams. We conducted the first year of the research during the sixth year of a drought. During the second year of study, precipitation totals ranged from normal to 200% of normal. The focus of the study was to determine if vegetation established on a bank affects the erosion of or deposition on that bank. During the drought year, most banks showed relatively little change. Duri~ng the high water year, 27°/o of all vegetated and 32% of all bare lower banks retreated more than 250 mm. This similarity between vegetated and unvegetated banks indicates that, on the streams studied, vegetation had little effect on bank erosion. Bank retreat was not related to near-bank velocities or to bank steepness. It is possible that herbaceous vegetation
showed no effect on the incised streams because the streams were too far from a new dynamic equilibrium. The energy of the hydraulic system may have been greater than the vegetation could withstand.

Zonge, L., S. Swanson, and T. Myers. 1996, Drought Year Changes in Streambank Profile on Incised Streams in the Sierra Nevada Mountains., Geomorphology, 15(1):47-56.   Read More...

After streams incise, they evolve through channel widening and adjustment of bank angle and bank shape. The rate of bank erosion and the influence of vegetation on the processes of adjustment on bank morphology are not well understood. To evaluate the role of vegetation in streambank changes, this study included monthly measurements of bank movement along incised streams during a drought. Data were collected throughout one year along four streams in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Streambank shape varied among five classes: vertical, boomerang, "L", short-cliff, and constant slope. Each shape included similar profile segments: top-bank, cliff, mid-slope, and toe-slope. The bank shapes did not follow location-for-time substitution models and erosion was not related to stream velocity. Relationships among profile shape, profile segment, and vegetation apparently influenced bank erosion, deposition, and net change. Most deposition occurred on vegetated, moderately steep slopes. Conversely, most erosion occurred on steep, bare banks. Rhizomatous plants retarded erosion, whereas forbs often grew in depositional areas.

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1996, Long-term aquatic habitat restoration: Mahogany Creek, Nevada, as a Case Study., Water Resources Bull., 32(2):241-252.   Read More...

We compared the recovery from abusive grazing of aquatic habitat due to different range management on two geomorphically similar rangeland streams in northwest Nevada. Managers excluded livestock from the Mahogany Creek watershed from 1976 to 1990 while allowing rotation of rest grazing on its tributary Summer Camp Creek. Bank stability, defined as the lack of apparent bank erosion or deposition, improved through the study period on both streams, but periodic grazing and flooding decreased stability more on Summer Camp Creek than flooding alone on Mahogany Creek. Pool quantity and quality on each stream decreased because of coarse woody debris removal and sediment deposition during a drought. Fine stream bottom sediments decreased five years after the removal of livestock, but sedimentation increased during low flows in both streams below road crossings. Tree cover increased 35 percent at both streams. Thus, recovery of stability and cover and decreased sedimentation are compatible with rotation of rest grazing on Summer Camp Creek. Width/depth ratio and gravel/cobble percent did not change because they are inherently stable in this stream type. Management activities such as coarse woody debris removal limited pool recover and road crossings increased sedimentation.

Masters, L., S. Swanson, and W. Burkhardt. 1996, Riparian Grazing Management that Worked: I. Introduction and Winter Grazing., Rangelands, 18(5):192-195.   Read More...
Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1996, Stream Morphologic Impact of Recovery from Major Flooding in North-Central Nevada, Physical Geography, 17(5):431-445.  

Major floods caused channel changes ranging from complete cross sectional change to small fluctuation in pool area.  We used cross-section data on 30 heavily grazed rangeland streams in North Central Nevada to assess changes over a climatically variable 14-year period. There was an insufficient range in ungulate damage to consider differences caused by grazing.  Flooding with return intervals exceeding 50 years caused major change on approximately 25% of the surveyed streams regardless of initial stream type.  One quarter of the changed streams continued to experience cross sectional change during a six- to eight-year period of low to normal flows.  On these streams, upper banks either receded to expose a new, lower floodplain or flattened to a less vertical slope. On streams that did not change type, flooding substantially reduced pool area, which did not recover during the succeeding period, presumably because energy was insufficient to form pools. High flows flushed fine sediment from the streams that did not change type, but fines returned in six years of low flows. Stream classification did not usefully predict major changes, channel evolution after the change, or differences in effect of flooding on pools among streams that did not change.

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1996, Temporal and Geomorphic Variations of Stream Stability and Morphology: Mahogany Creek, Nevada., Water Resources Bull., 32(2):253-265.   Read More...

Detailed studies of long-term management impacts on rangeland streams are few because of the cost of obtaining detailed data replicated in time. This study uses government agency aquatic habitat, stream morphologic, and ocular stability data to assess land management impacts over four years on three stream reaches of an important rangeland watershed in northwestern Nevada. Aquatic habitat improved as riparian vegetation reestablished itself with decreased and better controlled livestock grazing. However, sediment from livestock disturbances and road crossings and very low stream flows limited the rate of change. Stream type limited the change of pool variables and width/depth ratio, which are linked to gradient and entrenchment. Coarse woody debris removal due to previous management limited pool recovery. Various  critical element ocular stability estimates represented changes with time and differences among reaches very well. Ocular stability variables tracked the quantitative habitat and morphologic variables well enough to recommend that ocular surveys be used to monitor changes with time between more intensive aquatic surveys.

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1995, Impact of Deferred Rotation Grazing on Stream Characteristics in Central Nevada: A Case Study., North Am. J. of Fisheries Manage., 15(2):428-439.   Read More...

Three central Nevada streams were selected to study the watershed-scale effects on stream morphology and hank stability of deferred rotation cattle grazing, complete rest from grazing, and the presence of road crossings. The streams had gravel substrates, and their entrenchments, width : depth ratios, sinuosities and gradients were moderate. Based on statistical analysis of 1980 stream survey results, geologic basin features, and the occurrence of similar flooding, we concluded that the three streams had similar conditions at the start of the grazing treatment. Since 1980, deferred rotation grazing allowed much improvement of aquatic and riparian habitats but the improvement was limited by the presence of roads, which apparently added sediment to the streams. Complete rest from grazing without the presence of roads allowed the most improvement. Of the variables measured in the 1980 survey, streambank soil stability, type and amount of vegetation cover, and quality of pools improved most in all three streams. The best values for channel and water width : depth ratios, channel entrenchment, bank angle, bank undercut, and bank depth were measured on the stream managed with complete rest. Deferred rotation grazing in the absence of roads produced the second best values. The ratio of channel width to base flow water width was significantly higher on bare ground transects. Shrub and tree cover increased significantly more on the rested than on the grazed watersheds. These results should help managers select aquatic habitat and stream morphology objectives for grazing management.

Swanson, S. 1994, Combining Consensus and Environmental Analysis., Rangelands 16(4):247-249.   Read More...
Glimp, H. A. and S. Swanson. 1994, Sheep Grazing and Riparian Watershed Management., Sheep Research Journal, Special Issue: 65-71.   Read More...

A critical measure of grazing management success is the functional capacity of rangeland watersheds and riparian ecosystems. Legal mandates for water quality, the increasing demands for water and the importance of riparian areas for recreation, fish and wildlife habitat and their contribution to biodiversity will place increasing emphasis on riparian and watershed management.  It is clear that overgrazing and poorly timed grazing by any livestock species can be detrimental to riparian and watershed resources. However, the literature generally suggests that low to moderate sheep grazing levels at optimum times for the vegetation community are not detrimental.  Based on reviews of research and anecdotal experiences, recommended management practices for various sheep grazing systems are suggested.

Dunaway, D., S. Swanson, J. Wendel, and W. Clary. 1994, The Effect of Herbaceous Plant Communities and Soil Textures on Particle Erosion of Alluvial Streambanks., Geomorphology, 9(1):47-56   Read More...

Soil texture and plants are understood to be important determinants of erosion. However. there is a paucity of research on the quantitative effect of various soils, plants, or the interaction of the two, on streambank erosion. This study measures the influence of herbaceous plant communities and sandy loam, loam and clay loam soils on particle erosion rates. It demonstrates that the interaction of plants and soil are important. Seventy-one samples from the banks of 5 streams were tested using a flume. Multivariate regression analysis was used to analyze a dependent variable of erosion rate with independent variables of root density, soil texture, and plant communities. Autocorrelation was treated with the maximum chi-square method. Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis) and Baltic rush (Juncus balticus) communities had the lowest erosion rates, followed by mixed sedge ( Carex lanuginosa, C. rostrata and others) then mixed grass ( Poa pratensis with Deschampsia caespitosa) communities. Silt had a negative effect on erosion for the Nebraska sedge, Baltic rush and mixed grass plant communities, but had no effect with the mixed sedge community due to a silt-by-sedge interaction. An increase in percent clay correlated with an increase in erosion. As percentages of clay or silt increased, root-volume density declined. Root-volume density was correlated negatively with erosion. Clay to silt ratio correlated negatively with erosion. Thus knowledge of both vegetation and soil texture are necessary to predict or manage streambank erodibility.

Swanson, S. 1994, Viewpoint: An Integration of CRM (Coordinated Resource Management) and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Processes., J. Range Manage., 47(2):100-106.   Read More...

Coordinated Resource Management (CRM) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) each provide an approach for involving the public and resource specialists from many disciplines in public land management decisions. This viewpoint suggests combining the consensus building approach of CRM into the broader public involvement and sometimes more thorough analysis of a NEPA process. The combined process seems most applicable when a diversity of interests want potentially incompatible decisions, especially if those decisions could significantly affect the structure and function of ecosystems or natural-resource-based economies. Fourteen steps in a combined process describe the mechanics and rationale for this integration. To succeed with this process, begin with thorough preparation, then fostor open and
repeated 2-way communication. Communication with the broader public ensures that all affected interests may contribute ideas. Consensus building with representatives of all resource interests and land ownerships ensures public trust and broadly supported management. Consensus building continues through decision making, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and replanning.

Kleinfelder, D., S. Swanson, G. Norris, and W. Clary. 1992, Unconfined Compressive Strength of Some Streambank Soils with Herbaceous Roots., Soil Sci. Soc. of Am. J., 56(6):1920-1925.   Read More...

Streambank stability requires that bank strength exceeds destabilizing forces, including compressive forces from sources such as trampling and foot traffic.  This study was conducted to determine the unconfined compressive strength associated with herbaceously rooted streambanks, and whether greater compressive strength is developed from greater root-length density (length of roots per volume of sample) or specific plant communities. The unconfined compressive strength, root-length density, plant community and engineering soil characteristics were measured on 122 samples from six meadow stream reaches. Sample compressive strength emulated an elastic condition in highly rooted samples, and developed negligible compressive strength in samples containing very small amounts of roots.  Additionally compressive strength was found to increase nonlinearly with increases in very fine root-length density (herbaceous roots <0.5 mm in diameter) and reached an apparent asymptote at 50 kPa. The greatest compressive strength was derived from samples dominated by Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis Dewey). Correlations between unconfined compressive strength and engineering soil properties were mostly insignificant, primarily because samples were derived from unconsolidated alluvium. Stream morphology parameters showed little correlation to compressive strength, root-length density, or other independent variables, suggesting other unmeasured factors may have an equal or greater influence on stream morphology.  Herbaceous roots appear to supply most of the compressive strength and soil stability found in meadow streambanks, especially those dominated by Nebraska sedge.

Sheep Research Journal, Special Issue: 65-71. 1992, Variation of Stream Stability with Stream Type and Livestock Bank Damage in Northern Nevada., ater Resources Bull., 28(4):743-754.   Read More...

Many natural and anthropogenic factors contribute to the stability or erodibility of stream channels. Although a stream rating procedure used by more than 60 percent of the U.S. National Forests provides an estimate of overall stability, it does not identify the cause of instability or indicate corrective management. To better sort natural from livestock influences, stream stability rating indicator variables were related to stream types and levels of ungulate bank damage in a large data base for streams in northern Nevada. Stability and the range in stability varied naturally with stream type. Ungulate bank damage had different effects on different stream types and on different parts of their cross-sections. Vegetation is more important for stability on certain stream types than on other types. Streams with noncohesive sand and gravel
banks are most sensitive to livestock grazing. Range managers should consider the stream type when setting local standards, writing management objectives, or determining riparian grazing strategies.

Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1991, Aquatic Habitat Condition Index, Stream Type, and Livestock Bank Damage in Northern Nevada., Water Resources Bull., 27(4):667-677.   Read More...

The quality of stream habitat varies for a variety of natural and anthropogenic reasons not identified by a condition index. However, many people use condition indices to indicate management needs or even direction. To better sort natural from livestock influences, stream types and levels of ungulate bank damage were regulated to estimates of aquatic habitat condition index and stream width parameters in a large existing stream inventory data base. Pool/riffle ratio, pool structure, stream bottom materials, soil stability, and vegetation type varied significantly with stream type. Pool/riffle ratio, soil and vegetation stability varied significantly with ungulate bank damage level. Soil and vegetation stability were highly cross-correlated. Riparian area width did not vary significantly with either stream type or ungulate bank damage. Variation among stream types indicates that riparian management and monitoring should be stream type and reach specific.

Manning, M., S. Swanson, T. Svejcar, and J. Trent. 1989, Rooting Characteristics of Four Intermountain Meadow Community Types., J. Range Manage., 42(4):309-312.   Read More...

Healthy meadow communities generally hive excellent soil binding properties. However, belowground characteristics of these communities have seldom been evaluated. In 4 meadow community types (CTs) we measured root mass and root length density (RLD) at 10-cm intervals to 40 cm soil depth. The CTs occurred along a wet to dry soil moisture gradient. The ranking of CTs from wettest to driest was: Carex nebraskensis (CANE) > Juncus balticus (JUBA) > Carex douglasii (CADO) > Poa nevadensis (PONE). Total RLD and mass to 40 cm paralleled the order of soil wetness, i.e., there were more roots at the wetter sites. Values of total RLD and mass for the 4 CTs were: 95.6 cm cm-3 and 3,382 g m-2 respectively for CANE, 33.6 cm cm-3 and 2,545 g m-2 for JUBA; 25.7 cm cm-3 and 1,526 g m-2 for CADO; and 8.8 cm cm-3 and 555 g m-2 for PONE. Root mass and RLD declined with depth, a result consistent with other graminoid systems. The RLD values
for CANE, JUBA, and CAD0 are exceptionally high compared to literature values from other graminoid plant communities. The high RLD of the wet CTs suggests that they have superior site stabilizing characteristics.

Swanson, S. R., R. Miles, S. Leonard, and K. Genz 1988, Classifying Rangeland Riparian Areas: The Nevada Task Force Approach., J. Soil and Water Conservation, 43(3):259-263.  
Swanson, S., D. Franzen, and M. Manning. 1987, Rodero Creek: Rising Water on the High Desert., Soil and Water Conservation, 42(6):405-407.  
Doescher, P.S., R.F. Miller, S.R. Swanson and A.H. Winward. 1986, Identification of the Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis/Festuca idahoensis habitat type in Eastern Oregon., Northwest Science. 60(1):55-60.  
Swanson, S. R., G. H. Simonson, and J. C. Buckhouse 1986, Physical and chemical soil properties of three big sagebrush subspecies., J. Soil Sci. Soc. Am., 50:783-787.  
Swanson, S. R. and J. C. Buckhouse. 1984, Soil and nitrogen loss from Oregon lands occupied by three subspecies of big sagebrush., J. Range Manage., 37:298-302.  
Foster, Steve, Lee Schmelzer, John Wilker, Brad Schultz, Kent McAdoo, Sherm Swanson, Barry Perryman. 2015, Reducing Cheatgrass Fuel Loads Using Fall Cattle Grazing., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Special Publication 15-02,11 pp.   Read More...
Brad Schultz, Maria Ryan, Jerry Buk, Rod Davis, Staci Emm, Steve Lewis, Michael Havercamp, Marlene Rebori, Sherman Swanson, 2009, Nevada Sage Grouse Conservation Planning Facilitation Study: Paid vs. Nonpaid Participants, University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Special Publication-09-09 42 pp..   Read More...

The state of Nevada initiated a statewide planning process for sage-grouse in August 2000. The initial planning team of 28 members developed a conservation strategy focused around the development of six local (but multi-county) conservation plans that would be merged into one statewide plan. The development of the local plans began in November 2001 with a statewide meeting. Local planning groups started meeting in late 2001 and submitted their conservation plans in June 2004 (Nevada Sage-grouse Conservation Team, 2004).
Almost 500 individuals participated in the planning process, which was considered a collaborative effort between federal, state and local governments, the agricultural community and interested residents of the state. In late 2004, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) contracted with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) to evaluate the collaborative planning process. The results of this evaluation were published by UNCE in 2006 (Ryan et al., 2006).

Perryman, B. S. Swanson, G Brackley, B. Schultz, P Blackburn, K McAdoo, G. Medlyn, and R Tausch, B. Morrill. 2009, The Wyoming Big Sagebrush State and Transition Model and Management Key for Nevada – First Approximation., Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin   Read More...
Kettle, R., W. Riggs, J. Davison, R. Torell, B. Bruce, H. Glimp, R. Wilson, K. McAdoo, J. Neufeld, B. Kvasnicka, S. Donaldson, and S. Swanson. 2000, Intermountain Pasture and Hay Meadow Handbook: Pasture, Hay and Profit., Univ.of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bulletin EB-00-03.   Read More...
Laycock, W. A., D. Loper, F., Obermiller, L. Smith, S. Swanson, P. Urness, and M. Vavra. 1996, Grazing on Public Lands., Council for Agric. Sci. and Tech. (CAST), Report 129 Dec. 1996. 70 pp.   Read More...
Lay or Popular Publications
Cobourn, J. and S. Swanson. 2015, Nevada Agriculture in times of Drought., Progressive Rancher. January page 29.   Read More...
Franco Biondi, Bob Conrad (Publication Coordinator, Design, Editing), Theresa Danna-Douglas, Thomas Harris, Elizabeth Leger, Kent McAdoo, Gary McCuin, Robert Moore, Robert Nowak, Barry Perryman, Krystal Pyatt, (Publication Coordinator, Writer, Editor), James Sedinger, James Sloan, Tamzen Stringham, Sherm Swanson, Peter Weisberg, Mark Weltz, and Schirete Zick. 2012, Nevada Rangelands – Opportunities, Solutions, Partnerships., College Of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. 42pp.   Read More...
Swanson, John, Sherm Swanson, Brad Schultz, Kent McAdoo, and Gary McCuin. 2012, The Case for Active Wyoming Big Sagebrush Management., Progressive Rancher- Nevada Society for Range Management Series. 23(October / November ):23.  
Swanson, J., Swanson, S. R., Schultz, B. W., Mcadoo, J. K., McCuin, G. 2012, The Case for Active Wyoming Big Sagebrush Management., Progressive Rancher, 2012(Oct/Nov), 23   Read More...
Goulding, Heather, and S. Swanson. 2011, Finding Common Ground in Rangeland Creeks, Finding Common Ground in Rangeland Creeks  
Swanson, S. R., McCuin, G., Mcadoo, J. K. 2008, Keeping Water on the Land Longer, Progressive Rancher, ed., vol. 2008  
McAdoo, J.K., B.W. Schultz, S.R. Swanson, G.N. Back, B. Perryman, R. Orr, and G. McCuin. 2007, Fire Management for Resource Sustainability and Multiple Use Values., In: Proceedings of Cattlemen’s Update, January multiple locations.  
Swanson. S. 2007, The Nevada Rangeland Monitoring Handbook, Second Edition, Progressive Rancher. June   Read More...
McAdoo, Kent, Brad Schultz, Sherm Swanson, Gary Back, Barry Perryman, Rick Orr, and Gary McCuin. 2006, Addressing Wildfire Considerations for Resource Sustainability and Multiple Use Values., Progressive Rancher, November, 18-20.  
McAdoo, J. K., B. W. Schultz, and S. R. Swanson. 2004, Wildlife Diversity in Sagebrush Habitats., Progressive Rancher. February Page 16.  
Swanson, S., G. Back, and D. Pulliam 2003, Direction on Applying the Sage Grouse Guidelines in Relation to Fire and Herbaceous Hiding Cover., Information Leaflet Number 1. Rangeland Health Subcommittee of the Nevada Governor’s Sage Grouse Conservation Planning Team 8 p.  
Swanson, S. 1990, Priorities for Riparian Management., Nevada Rancher. XX(2): 44-45&52.  
Swanson, S. 1989, Priorities for riparian management., Rangelands, 11(5):228-230. .   Read More...
Swanson, S. 1989, Streams and Water Quality: How it works., The Tahoe Landscape. 1(3):1&4.  
Swanson, S., R. Waters, J. Davison, W. Peterson, D. Torell, and D. Williams. 1898, Nevada range education: The people’s choice., Rangelands, 11(4):171-172.   Read More...
Sherman Swanson, 2016, Integrated Lentic Riparian Grazing Management, Eds. Iwaasa, Alan, H.A. (Bart) Lardner, Mike Schellenberg, Walter Willms and Kathy Larso. In: Proceedings 10th International Rangelands Congress, July 18-22. Saskatoon, SK, Canada. 10(2.3-5):454-456   Read More...

Managing lentic riparian areas for functionality is a legal, policy, sustainability, sage grouse & common sense requirement. Yet this work has been neglected without an effective integrated riparian management process (IRMP) such as Dickard et al. (2015) described for lotic riparian areas. This paper presents the seven steps for lentic IRMP: Step 1- Assess Riparian Area Functioning condition (PFC); Step 2 - Identify resource values, or types of habitat; Step 3 - Prioritize riparian areas for management, restoration, or monitoring using steps 1 and 2; Step 4 - Identify issues, and establish goals, and objectives for key areas; Step 5 - Design and implement management and restoration actions; Step 6 - Monitor and analyze the effectiveness of actions; and Step 7 - Implement adaptive actions. 

Swanson, Sherman. 2016, The Need for Grazing Fine Fuels after Wet Periods, Eds. Iwaasa, Alan, H.A. (Bart) Lardner, Mike Schellenberg, Walter Willms and Kathy Larso. In: Proceedings 10th International Rangelands Congress, July 18-22. Saskatoon, SK, Canada. 10(4.2-3:669-670.   Read More...

Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a highly flammable invasive winter annual. At higher elevations, perennial grasses historically fueled rangeland fires along with shrubs and trees where they became dominant in the absence fire. Where management allows expanses of accumulated fine or woody fuel, mega fires create homogenous vegetation that fails to provide habitat for sage-grouse and other wildlife that require a patchy mosaic. Resistance and resilience of sagebrush rangelands depend on proactive fire and fuels management. The focus on fuels management was elevated by Interior Secretarial Order 3335 which mentions appropriate livestock grazing for management of fine fuels. Variation in production make sustaining forage for livestock difficult in dry years and create excess fine fuel in wet years. There is time and there are many tools to harvest the fine fuel with grazing before it burns.

Swanson, J., Swanson, S. R., McCuin, G., Mcadoo, J. K., Schultz, B. W. 2011, Synergistic monitoring for adaptive management: Nevada sagebrush ecosystems, Pages 187-190. In: Monoco, Thomas A.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Palacios, Patsy K. comps. 2011. Proceedings - Threats to Shrubland Ecosystem Integrity. May 18-20 Logan, UT 16th Wildland Shrub Symposium. Vol. XVII. S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Natural Resources Res   Read More...

For many years, land managers and scientists have been applying a variety of land treatments to improve or protect rangeland ecosystems. Collectively, we have studied the response of these treatments and wildfire events to identify opportunities for maintaining or improving Nevada sagebrush ecosystem health and functionality. In partnership with collaborators, we initiated a State-wide effort to capture, consolidate, and summarize implementation, monitoring, and research information for these events. We are conducting field studies to identify and fill information gaps. We seek a new and expanded information base that is available to Nevada land managers, scientists, and others interested in healthy and resilient sagebrush sites. We plan to identify the consequences of passive and active management; develop predictive tools for adaptive management; identify research needs; and increase accessibility to location, implementation and monitoring information for these events. Through the collaborative integration of our field study results with historic and current research and monitoring information, we seek to increase knowledge of landscape-level and site-specific ecological processes. This will further develop our ability to manage and predict rangeland health, integrity, resilience (after disturbance), and  resistance (to undesired change under significant disturbance regimes) in the context of multiple-use management.

McAdoo, J.K. B.W. Schultz, R.A. Torell, S. Swanson, K. Curtis, G. McCuin, and R.B. LeValley. 2010, Nevada Range Management School: an Impact Evaluation, Proceedings, Fourth National Conference on Grazing Lands. Reno, NV. Pages 338-344.   Read More...
Swanson, S. S. Wyman, and K. McAdoo. 2008, Assess Physical Functioning of Riparian Systems with an Eye toward Management., Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World Vol. I:822, Proceedings of the XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress, June 29-July 5, Hohhot, China  
Swanson, S. R. 2008, Contributions of Sherman Swanson., In: Miller, E. and R. Naryanan, (Eds.) Great Basin Wildfire Forum: The Search for Solutions. pages 28-29. Reno, NV: Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station.   Read More...
Wyman, S., and S. Swanson. 2008, Grazing Management Processes and Strategies for Riparian Wetland Areas., Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World Vol. I:846, Proceedings of the XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress, June 29-July 5, Hohhot, China  
Swanson, S., K. McAdoo, A. Smith, and S. Wyman. 2008, The Cottonwood Ranch Riparian Management Case Study., Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World Vol. II:78, Proceedings of the XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress, June 29-July 5, Hohhot, China  
Wyman, S. S. Swanson, and L. Van Riper. 2008, The Creeks and Communities Strategy: Accelerating Cooperative Riparian Restoration, Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World Vol. II:1111, Proceedings of the XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress, June 29-July 5, Hohhot, China  
Swanson, Sherman. 2004, Riparian Restoration Opportunity Spectrum., Watershed Management Council Biannual Conference, Nov. 15-19, San Diego, CA  
Swanson, Sherman, Mark Walker, Kent McAdoo, and Brad Schultz. 2004, Riparian Vegetation, Channel and Watershed Response to Pre-Wildfire Conditions., Am. Water Resources Assn. Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers: Multiscale Structure, Function, and Management. June 28-30, Olympic Valley, CA  
McAdoo, J.K., S.R. Swanson, B.W. Schultz, and P.F. Brussard. 2004, Vegetation Management for Sagebrush-Associated Wildlife Species., Pages 189-193 In: A.L. Hild, N.L. Shaw, S.E. Meyer, T. Booth, and E.D. McArthur, comps. Seed and Soil Dynamics in Shrubland Ecosystems: 2002 August 12-16; Laramie, WY. Proceedings RMRS-P-31. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., and S.R. Swanson. 2003, Impacts of Sagebrush Habitat Treatments on Wildlife., In: Proceedings of the 12th Wildland Shrub Symposium, Seed and Soil Dynamics in Shrubland Ecosystems (Regional), August, 2002 Laramie, WY.   Read More...
Schultz, B. and S. Swanson. 2002, Defining Areas Requiring Artificial Treatments or Selective Management to Initiate and Sustain Recovery – Criterial Used to Select Procedures to Restore Sagebrush Communities., . pp.11-14 In: Restoration and Management of Sagebrush/Grass Communities Workshop. Elko,NV.  
McAdoo, J.K., S.R. Swanson, B. Schultz, and P.F. Brussard. 2002, Habitat Requirements of Sagebrush-Associated Species and Implications for Management., pp.11-14 In: Restoration and Management of Sagebrush/Grass Communities Workshop. Elko, NV.  
Blum, M. and S. Swanson. 2001, Integrating a Watershed Database into an Urban Stream Restoration Project: Steamboat Creek, NV., Riparian Habitat and Floodplains Conference, March 12-15, Sacramento, CA  
Swanson, S. and J. Cobourn 2001, Riparian Capability for the Carson River., P. II-132-139 In: Seventh Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference March 25-29, Reno, NV   Read More...
Butt, Anya, Z. Michael Ayers, Sherman Swanson, and Paul Tueller. 2001, Riparian Corridor Assessment: Combining Vegetation and Stream Morphology Classification into a GIS Database., cografi bilgi sistemleri bilisim gunleri / fatih universitesi / 13-14 kasim 2001  
Butt, A. Z. and S. Swanson 2000, Putting Numbers to the Montgomery/Buffington Classification Scheme: A Case Study., Pages 65-70 In: Wigington, P. J. and R. L. Beschta (Eds.) Riparian Ecology and Management in Multi-Land Use Watersheds. Am Water Resources Association, Middleburg, Virginia, TPS-00-2, 616 pp. (Proc of Symposium Portland, Ore. Aug 28-31.  
Butt, Z. A., M. B. Ayers, S. Swanson, and P. T. Tueller. 1999, Riparian Corridor Assessment in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Combining Vegetation and Stream Morphology Classifications into a GIS Database., Am. Water Res. Assoc. Water Resources Conf., Seattle, WA Dec. 6-9, 1999.  
Butt, Z. A., M. B. Ayers, S. Swanson, and P. T. Tueller. 1998, Relationship of Stream Channel Morphology and Remotely Sensed Riparian Vegetation Classification., Pages 409-416 In: Potts, D. E. (Ed.) Rangeland management and Water Resources, Am. Water Res. Assoc. Specialty Conference, Reno, NV May 27-29, 1998.  
Klotz, J., and S. Swanson. 1997, Channel change in Response to Woody Riparian Vegetation., What is Watershed Stability? Proc. of the Sixth Biennial Watershed Management Conf., Watershed Manage. Council. Univ. of CA Water Resources Center Report No. 92:184 Lake Tahoe, CA/NV Oct. 23-25, 1996.  
Klotz, J. R. and S. Swanson. 1997, Klotz, J. R. and S. Swanson., Pages 483-489 In: J. J. Warwick Ed. Symp. Proc.: Water Resources Education, Training, and Practice: Opportunities for the Next Century. Am. Water Resources. Assoc., Universities Council on Water Resources, Am. Water Works Assoc., and Project Wet. Keystone, CO June 29-July 3.  
Myers, T. M., Chesley, and S. Swanson. 1997, Myers, T. M., Chesley, and S. Swanson., What is Watershed Stability? Proc. of the Sixth Biennial Watershed Management Conf., Watershed Manage. Council. Univ. of CA Water Resources Center Report No. 92:185 Lake Tahoe, CA/NV Oct. 23-25, 1996.  
Franklin, A. J., P. T. Tueller, M. Ayers, and S. Swanson. 1997, Preparation and Analysis of Multispectral Videography and Digital Orthophotoquads for Riparian Vegetation Mapping., P. 346-357 In: Videography and Color Photography in Resource Assessment, Proceedings of the 16th Biennial Workshop, Am. Soc. Of Photogrametry and Remote Sensing. Weslaco, TX 1997.  
Klotz, J. R. and S. Swanson. 1997, Vegetative Response to Channel Incision., Pages 151-156. In: Proc. of the Conf. On Management of Landscapes Disturbed by Channel Incision: Stabilization - Rehabilitation - Restoration. Wang, S. S. Y., E. J. Langendoen, and F. D. Shields, Jr. (Eds.)Univ. of Mississippi, May 19.  
Myers, T. J. and S. Swanson. 1996, . Changes on a Small Sierran Meadow Stream Due to High Snowmelt Runoff., Sixth Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conf., V 1-III:38-45. Las Vegas, NV, Mar. 10-14.  
Myers, T., M. Chesley, and S. Swanson. 1996, Difficulties of Implementing Watershed Restoration: The Problem of Gray Creek, Nevada, Pages 217-226 In: McDonnell, J. J., D. J. Leopold, J. B. Stribling, and L. R. Neville (Eds.), Am. Water Res. Assoc. Symp. Proc.: Watershed Restoration Management--Physical, Chemical and Biological Considerations. Syracuse, NY, June 14-17.  
Swanson, S. and R. Wilson. 1996, Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Public Education by Combining Consensus Based Planning and Environmental Analysis., Pages 48-49 In: Educational Challenges for the 21st Century -- 8th National Extension Wildlife and Fisheries Specialists Workshop. Bellingham, WA, June 26-29, 1996.  
Sipple, E. M. and S. Swanson. 1996, Photo-Point Analysis of Winter and Spring Grazing Effects on Temperate Streams., Page 520 In: Proc. of the Fifth International Rangelands Congress, Salt Lake City, UT, July 23-28, 1995.  
Swanson, S., I. Kamyab and T. Myers. 1996, Simulated Stream Bank Erosion of Surface and Subsurface Samples from Three Meadow Communities., Sixth Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conf., V 1-III:100-107. Las Vegas, NV, Mar. 10-14.  
Swanson, S. 1995, Combining Consensus and Environmental Analysis for Mixed Ownership Watersheds., Pages 75-77 In: Watersheds '94 Respect, Rethink, and Restore: Proc. of the Fifth Biennial Watershed Manage. Conf. Univ. of CA Water Resources Center Report No. 86. Ashland, OR, Nov 16-18, 1994.  
Swanson, S. 1995, Ideas for Reading a Stream's Need for Management., Pages 3-13 In: Livestock in Grazed Watersheds Symposium Soc. for Range Manage. An. Meetings Phoenix, AZ, Jan. 16.  
Myers, T. and S. Swanson 1995, Intrareach Variation of Pool Variables in Streams of Constant Stream Type., First An. Pacific Northwest Water Issues and 1995 Pacific Northwest/Oceania Conf. Portland, OR, Feb. 27-28.  
Swanson, S. 1995, Potential Sources of Water Contamination from Confined and Grazing Animal Operations -- Review Comments., Chapter 1: In: Coppock, Ray and Stephanie Weber eds. Animal Agriculture Impacts on Water Quality in California. Publication No. AA-1:18-20 Proc. of a conference cosponsored by Animal Agriculture Research Center and Agricultural Issues Center, Univ. of Calif., Davis. in Sacramento, CA, Oct. 20, 1994.  
Swanson, S. 1995, Wetland and riparian vegetation for management of watersheds and water quality., Page 27 in: Truckee River Conf. -- In Search of a Sustainable Future for all Ecosystem Inhabitants. Reno/Sparks, NV, Apr. 27.  
Theroux, M. E., S. Swanson, P. Tueller, and A. Franklin. 1994, . Riparian Ecosystem Assessment and Enhancement Program, Lake Tahoe Basin, California and Nevad, p. 110-115 In: Northwest Regional Riparian Symposia -- Diverse Values: Seeking Common Ground. ID Riparian Coop. Boise, ID, Dec. 8-9.  
Zonge, L. and S. Swanson. 1994, A Moveable Frame Technique for Measuring Changes in Streambank Profiles., Pages 697-706 In: Am. Water Res. Assoc. Symp. Proc.: Effects of Human Induced Changes on Hydrologic Systems. Jackson Hole, WY, June 26-29.  
Masters, L., and S. Swanson. 1994, Characteristics of Successful Riparian Grazing Management., Northwest Regional Riparian Symposia -- Diverse Values: Seeking Common Ground. ID Riparian Coop. Boise, ID, Dec. 8-9.  
Swanson, S. and T. Myers. 1994, Characteristics of Useful Grazing Management Objectives., Pages 54-59. In: Northwest Regional Riparian Symposia -- Diverse Values: Seeking Common Ground. ID Riparian Coop. Boise, ID, Dec. 8-9.  
Myers, T. and S. Swanson. 1994, Grazing Effects on Pool Forming Features in Central Nevada., Pages 235-244 In: Effects of Human Induced Changes on hydrologic systems Am. Water Res. Assoc. Symposium Proc.:. Jackson Hole, WY, June 26-29.  
Swanson, S. and T. Myers. 1994, Streams, Geomorphology, Riparian Vegetation, Livestock, and Feedback Loops: Thoughts for Riparian Grazing Management by Objectives., Pages 255-264 In: Effects of Human Induced Changes on Hydrologic Systems. Am. Water Res. Assoc. Symp. Proc.: Jackson Hole, WY, June 26-29.  
Swanson, S. 1994, Watershed Classification and Analysis., Watersheds '94: Creating the Links. People, Politics, Science, and Stewardship. Sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Bellevue, WA, Tree Farm Cassettes EP49-040  
Swanson, S. and T. Myers. 1993, Managing for Integrated Use., Pages 19-21 In: Riparian Management: Common Threads and Shared Interests. USDA For. Ser. Rocky Mount. For. and Range Exp. Sta. Gen. Tech. Rept. RM-226.Albuquerque, NM, Feb.4-6.  
Delmas, R. and S. Swanson. 1993, The Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Process., Pages 290-293 In: Riparian Management: Common Threads and Shared Interests. USDA For. Ser. Rocky Mountain For. and Range Exp. Sta. Gen. Tech. Rept. RM-226. Albuquerque, NM, Feb.4-6.  
Swanson, S 1993, The Paradigm Shift., Riparian Management: Common Threads and Shared Interests. USDA For. Ser. Rocky Mountain For. and Range Exp. Sta. Gen. Tech. Rept. RM-226. Albuquerque, NM, Feb.4-6.  
Kamyab, I. and S. Swanson. 1990, Stream Bank Stability for C6 Stream Type Reconstruction., Watershed Management: A Symp. by the Irrigation and Drainage Division of the Am. So. of Civil Engineers, Durango, CO. July 9-11.  
Swanson, S. 1990, Using Stream Classification to Prioritize Riparian Rehabilitation after Extreme Events., Pages 96-101 In: California Riparian Systems: A conference on Protection, Management and Restoration for the 1990's. USDA For. Ser. Pacific Southwest For. and Range Exp. Sta. Gen. Tech. Rept. PSW-110. Davis, CA, Sept. 22-24, 1988.   Read More...
Swanson, S. 1985, Riparian grazing management: A challenge for today., Pages. 49-53 In: Proceedings: Workshop on Management of Riparian Area. Public Lands Council and Western Universities Range Extension Committee. Denver, CO, Sept. 23.  
Swanson, S. and J. C. Buckhouse. 1984, . Infiltration on Oregon lands occupied by three subspecies of big sagebrush., Pages 286-291. In: Third Annual Wildland Shrub Symposium: The Biology of Artemisia and Chrysothamnus. Provo, UT, July 9-13  
Book or Chapter(s) in Books
George E. Gruell, Sherman Swanson 2012, Nevada's Changing Wildlife Habitat: An Ecological History, University of Nevada, Press   Read More...

For millennia the ecology of the Great Basin has evolved because of climate change and the impacts of human presence. Nevada's  changing Wildlife Habitat is the first book to explain the transformations in the plants and animals of this region over time and how they came about. Using data gleaned from archaeological and anthropological studies, numerous historical documents, repeat photography, and several natural sciences, the authors examine changes in vegetation and their impact on wildlife species and the general health of the environment. They also outline the choices that current users and managers of rangelands face in being good stewards of this harsh but fragile environment and its wildlife.

Professional Papers
Swanson, S. 2016, Nevada Plants Useful for Riparian Condition Assessment and Monitoring., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Special Publication SP-16-15 8 p.   Read More...
McAdoo, K., B. Schultz, R. Torell, S. Swanson, G. McCuin, and K. Curtis. 2010, Nevada Range Management School: Focus on Sustainability., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication. SP-10-09. 9pp.   Read More...
Rollins, K. S., Castledine, A., Swanson, S. R., Evans, M. D., McAdoo, J. K., Schultz, B. W., Havercamp, M. J., Wilson, R. E. 2007, The 2005 Nevada Rangeland Vegetation Survey General Public Questionnaire and Survey of Responses., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication, SP-07-11, pp. 42   Read More...
Ryan, Maria, Brad Schultz, Steve Lewis, Jerry Buk, Rod Davis, Staci Emm, Michael Havercamp, Marlene Rebori, and Sherman Swanson. 2006, Nevada Sage Grouse Conservation Planning Facilitation Study., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Special Publication-06-03 22 pp.   Read More...
Perryman, B. L., L. B. Bruce, P. T. Tueller, and S. R. Swanson. 2006, Ranchers’ Monitoring Guide., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Education Bulletin-06-04 48 pp.   Read More...
Smith, B. and S. Swanson. 2004, Appendix X: Wildlife Management, Ely Bureau of Land Management District Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.  
Cobourn, J. and S. Swanson. 2004, Water Quality Issues on the Middle & Upper Carson River., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication SP-04-22, 6p.   Read More...
S. Swanson and S. Donaldson. 2000, Irrigation Diversion Structures for Sustained Pasture and Meadow Production. Chapter 18, Kettle, R., W. Riggs, J. Davison, R. Torell, B. Bruce, H. Glimp, R. Wilson, K. McAdoo, J. Neufeld, B. Kvasnicka, S. Donaldson, and S. Swanson. Intermountain Pasture and Hay Meadow Handbook: Pasture, Hay and Profit. Univ.of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bulletin EB-00-03.   Read More...
Donaldson, S. and S. Swanson. 2000, Managing Irrigated Pasture for Water Quality. Chapter 16, In: Kettle, R., W. Riggs, J. Davison, R. Torell, B. Bruce, H. Glimp, R. Wilson, K. McAdoo, J. Neufeld, B. Kvasnicka, S. Donaldson, and S. Swanson. Intermountain Pasture and Hay Meadow Handbook: Pasture, Hay and Profit. Univ.of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bulletin EB-00-03.   Read More...
Donaldson, S. and S. Swanson 2000, Managing Water Supplies for Water Quality. Chapter 17, In: Kettle, R., W. Riggs, J. Davison, R. Torell, B. Bruce, H. Glimp, R. Wilson, K. McAdoo, J. Neufeld, B. Kvasnicka, S. Donaldson, and S. Swanson. Intermountain Pasture and Hay Meadow Handbook: Pasture, Hay and Profit. Univ.of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bulletin EB-00-03.   Read More...
Donaldson, S. and S. Swanson. 2000, Water Quality and Public Policy. Chapter 15, : Kettle, R., W. Riggs, J. Davison, R. Torell, B. Bruce, H. Glimp, R. Wilson, K. McAdoo, J. Neufeld, B. Kvasnicka, S. Donaldson, and S. Swanson. Intermountain Pasture and Hay Meadow Handbook: Pasture, Hay and Profit. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bulletin EB-00-03.   Read More...
Research Reports
Foster, S., Schmelzer, L., Wilker, J., Schultz, B. W., Mcadoo, J. K., Swanson, S. R., Perryman, B. L. 2015, Reducing Cheatgrass Fuel Loads Using Fall Cattle Grazing, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: Special Publication 15-03   Read More...

Cattle grazed a cheatgrass-dominated pasture during the fall dormant period for four years (2006-2009) and were provided a protein nutrient supplement to improve their distribution, uptake of dry feed and production performance. Cheatgrass standing crop was reduced by 43 percent to 80 percent each year, and cattle weight and body condition score increased each year. The fall-grazed site had less cover from cheatgrass than the ungrazed site had. The fall-grazed site also had no decline in perennial grass cover. Cheatgrass density was 64 percent less on the grazed site after two years, and had 19 fewer plants per square foot than the adjacent ungrazed area. The seedbank potential for cheatgrass decreased much more on grazed areas than on the adjacent ungrazed areas, with a 95 percent or greater reduction in the seedbank potential. The difference was due to the grazing treatment.

Hall, Robert K., Sherman Swanson, Daniel Mosley, Daniel T. Heggem, John Lin, Yves Thériault; Kerry-Ann Charles, Adam St. Germain, Al Douglas, Margarita Caso Chávez, Paola García, Lucie Robidoux, Georgina O’Farrill Karen Richardson , Sylvia Correa 2016, Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Project 15: Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Assessment, Report. 44 pp.  
Hunsaker, Carolyn, Sherman Swanson, Adam McMahon, Joshua Viers, and Barry Hill. 2015, Effects of Meadow Erosion and Restoration on Groundwater Storage and Base Flow in National Forests in the Sierra Nevada, California., USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and California Department of Water Resources. 59 pp.   Read More...
Hall, R. K., R Schafer, S. Swanson, D.T. Heggem, J. Lin, S. Terry, H. French, D. Mosley 2014, PFC to T-FERST: An Integrated, Watershed-based Risk Assessment Process., T-FERST:   Read More...
Kozlowski, Don, Sherman Swanson, Robert Hall, and Daniel Heggem. 2013, Linking Changes in Management of Riparian Physical Functionality to Water Quality and Aquatic Habitat: A Case Study of Maggie Creek., US EPA Office of Research and Development Washington DC EPA/600/R-13/133. 73 pp.   Read More...
Curriculum Development
Foster, S. S. and S. R. Swanson 2015, Land Navigation - Nevada Youth Range Camp., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Curriculum 15-03, 12 pp.   Read More...
Hall, R. K., D.T. Heggem, S. Swanson, and J. Lin, 2014, Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Assessment for Management and Monitoring, Tribal Ecosystem Research Program (TERP) Workshop - March 18-20, - Las Vegas, NV EPA/600/R-14/344   Read More...
Swanson, Sherman. 2010, Pinyon and Juniper Investigation - Nevada Youth Range Camp., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material CM-10-010. 19 pp.   Read More...
Swanson, Sherman and G. McCuin. 2010, Simulating Coordinated Resource Management - Nevada Youth Range Camp., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material CM-10-09. 16 pp.   Read More...
Swanson, Sherman and J. Fisher. 2010, Soils Investigation - Nevada Youth Range Camp., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material CM-10-08. 26 pp.   Read More...
Swanson, Sherman 2010, Stream Investigation - Nevada Youth Range Camp., Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material CM-10-07. 20 pp.   Read More...
Schultz, B., K. McAdoo, S. Swanson, 2008, Rangeland Plants: A Curriculum for the Nevada Youth Range Camp., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material CM-08-03. 25 pp.   Read More...
Fact Sheets
John Cobourn, Steve Lewis and Sherman Swanson. 2011, Don’t Put Your Home and Family at Risk from Floods., UNCE Fact Sheet FS-11-70, 2 pp.   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., B. W. Schultz, S. R. Swanson, and G.N. Back 2007, Northeastern Nevada Wildfires 2006: Part 1 – Wildfire and Land-Use History., UNCE Fact Sheet. FS-07-20.   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., B. W. Schultz, S.R. Swanson, B. Perryman, and R. Orr. 2007, Northeastern Nevada Wildfires 2006: Part 2 – Can We Use Livestock Grazing To Reduce Wildfires?, UNCE Fact Sheet. FS-07-21   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., B. W. Schultz, and S.R. Swanson. 2007, Northeastern Nevada Wildfires 2006: Part 3 – Rehabilitating Fire Impacted Areas., . UNCE Fact Sheet. FS-07-22. 4 pp.   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., J.C. Davison, S.R. Swanson, and A. Smith. 2004, Impact Evaluation of the Cottonwood Ranch Holistic Management Team – Working Together for Healthy Landscapes and Quality Lifestyles Series, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet. FS-04-67   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., B.W. Schultz, and S.R. Swanson. 2003, Habitat Management for Sagebrush-Associated Wildlife Species., Univ. Nevada Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet. FS-03-66.   Read More...
McAdoo, J.K., B.W. Schultz, and S. R. Swanson. 2003, Wildlife Diversity in Sagebrush Habitats., Univ. Nevada Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet. FS-03-65.   Read More...
S. Swanson, R.E. Wilson, W.S. Johnson, and S. Donaldson. 1999, S. Swanson, R.E. Wilson, W.S. Johnson, and S. Donaldson.1999. Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 4-Prioritize Weed Management., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-78   Read More...
Donaldson, S., R.E. Wilson, W.S. Johnson, and S. Swanson. 1999, Nevada's War on Weeds; Steps to Success, Step 9 - Finding Additional Resources., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-83   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson. 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Making your Program Work?, Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-74.   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson. 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 1-Creat Effective Coalitions with Awareness, Education and Training., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-75.   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S.Donaldson 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 2-Build Coalitions Through Collaborative Planning and Management., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-76.   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson. 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 3-Map Important Weeds for a Living Inventory., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-77.   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 5-Avoid Exploding Weed Populations with Prevention and Early Detection., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-79.   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson. 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 6-Plan Projects for Success., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-80.   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson. 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 7-Monitor Results to Work Smarter Next Year., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-81   Read More...
Wilson, R.E. W.S. Johnson, S. Swanson and S. Donaldson 1999, Steps to Success; Nevada's War on Weeds, Step 8-Fund Programs with Justification., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 99-82   Read More...
Zonge, L. J. Davison, and S. Swanson. 1997, Tips for Successfully Planting Willows in Riparian Areas., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 97-09. 4p.   Read More...
Swanson, S. and D. Torell. 1990, Riparian Grazing Management: an Alternative to Range Readiness., Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet 90-25. 3p.  
Swanson, S. 1988, Prioritizing streams for rehabilitation and riparian management., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 88-76. 3 pp.  
Swanson, S., W. Burkhardt, and J. A. Young. 1987, Living with cheatgrass in the Great Basin Annual Rangeland, University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet, 87-45 3 pp.  
Swanson, S 1987, Riparian Pastures., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet, 87-53 3 pp.  
Swanson, S. R. and J. Davison. 1986, Crested Wheatgrass Grazing Management., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 86-75 4 pp.  
Swanson, S. R. and E.W. Anderson. 1986, Efficiency in Grazing Management., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 86-74. 4 pp.  
Swanson, S. R. 1986, Options for Riparian Grazing Management, University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 86-77. 4 pp.  
Swanson, S. R. 1986, The Value of Healthy Riparian Areas, University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 86-76. 3 pp.  
Champney, W. and S. Swanson. 1985, Cash and non-cash costs of grazing on public land in Nevada., University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 85-52. 4p.  
Technical Publication
Leonard, S., V. Elsbernd, M. Borman, S. Swanson, and G. Kinch. 1997, Riparian Area Management, Grazing Management for Riparian-Wetland Areas,, USDI BLM Tech. Manual, BLM/RS/ST-97/002-1737, NARSC, Colo.  
Tueller, P. T., G. K. Brackley, J. Briggs, J. W. Doughty, G. Staidl, and S. Swanson. 1992, Conservation Plantings for Natural Resources Management: Rangelands, Windbreaks, Wildlife Habitat, Soil Protection, Conservation Cover, and Mined Land Reclamation. Joint recommendations, Univ. of NV Coop. Ext. and the U. S. Soil Cons. Serv. BE-92-01 Repl.C-183.  
Nevada Range Studies Task Group. 1984, Nevada rangeland monitoring handbook, A cooperative effort by: USDA Soil Conservation Service, Forest Service, Agricultural Research Service, USDI Bureau of Land Management, University of Nevada-Reno, and Range Consultants. 49 pp.  
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