Recovery of sagebrush-grass vegetation following wildfire

  • Published source details West N.E. & Hassan M.A. (1985) Recovery of sagebrush-grass vegetation following wildfire. Journal of Range Management, 38, 131-134.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Allow shrubland to regenerate without active management

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Allow shrubland to regenerate without active management

    A controlled, before-and-after trial in 1981–1983 in a sagebrush scrub habitat that had been burnt in a wildfire in Utah, USA (West & Hassan 1985) found that allowing shrubland to recover without active restoration did not increase cover of shrub, or forb species, but did increase cover of two of eight grass species. After two years of recovery, the cover of five of five shrubs (0–1%) was not significantly different than immediately after burning (0%), and was lower than in unburned areas for one of five shrubs (3%). The same pattern was true for seven of seven forb species (after recovery: 0%, immediately after fire: 0%). Cover of two of eight grass species was higher after two years of recovery (5–50%) than immediately after fire (0%). Wildfire occurred in July 1981. Cover of plants was assessed visually in four 1000 m2 plots every year in 1981–1983.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust