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NSN seed logoIf data is available, this is where you find Ecoregion Descriptions, Plant Communities of that ecoregion, and Species Lists/Recommendations for both.  If you know the community types at your project site, use community recommendations as the species will be more appropriate and more specifically geared to your site.  
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Colorado Plateaus Ecoregion

Rugged tableland topography is typical of the Colorado Plateau ecoregion. Precipitous side-walls mark abrupt changes in local relief, often from 300 to 600 meters. The region is more elevated than the Wyoming Basin to the north and therefore contains a far greater extent of pinyon-juniper woodlands. However, the region also has large low lying areas containing saltbrush-greasewood (typical of hotter drier areas), which are generally not found in the higher Arizona/New Mexico Plateau to the south where grasslands are common.

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Colorado Plateaus Plant Communities

Basin big sagebrush

Within the Intermountain West, basin big sagebrush can be found from 3,000 to 7,000 ft (914 to 2,140 m) elevation, with annual precipitation ranging from 9 to 16 inches (23 to 41 cm). A majority of the irrigated farmlands, dry farms, and dryland pastures within the Intermountain West were once dominated by basin big sagebrush.
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Black greasewood

Black greasewood occupies considerable acreages on salty valley bottoms. This plant also occurs on salt-bearing shale outcrops in canyons and on foothills. Sites vary in respect to soil texture and availability of ground water. Some areas are wet with high water tables, and others are dry with welldrained soils. Black greasewood occurs in pure or mixed stands. Livestock can safely consume moderate amounts of greasewood when it is eaten in conjunction with other forage. Black greasewood is not known to be poisonous to game animals and, in fact, has some forage value.
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Juniper-pinyon

Juniper-pinyon ranges from 10,000 ft (3,280 m) elevation on the crest of the Sierra to a low of 3,200 ft (1,050 m) along the Utah-Arizona border. Pinyon tends to favor higher elevations, and Utah juniper becomes more dominant at lower elevations. Annual precipitation in the juniper-pinyon type ranges from 8 to 22 inches (200 to 560 mm), with the best stand development occurring between 12 and 17 inches (300 and 430 mm).
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Mountain big sagebrush

Throughout the Intermountain West, mountain big sagebrush is found at elevations from 3,500 to 9,800 ft (1,060 to 3,000 m) and occurs from foothills to subalpine zones. Annual precipitation ranges from 12 to 30 inches (300 to 760 mm). Soils on which mountain big sagebrush grows range from slightly acid to slightly alkaline and are generally well drained. Soil moisture is usually favorable throughout the growing season. A large number of grass, forb, and shrub species grow in association with this shrub and usually produce an abundance of forage. Open stands with good, diverse understory are essential to sage-grouse and must be used in treatment projects to maintain sufficient shrub density and cover for sage-grouse. It is essential that desirable understory species and woody species associated with mountain big sagebrush be retained or reestablished as part of the revegetation effort.
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Mountain brush

The chief components are Gambel oak, bigtooth maple, Rocky Mountain maple, mountain big sagebrush, Saskatoon serviceberry, and Utah serviceberry. Associated with the above species, in various geographic areas, are ninebark, chokecherry, bitter cherry, skunkbush sumac, antelope bitterbrush, cliffrose, true mountain mahogany, and curlleaf mountain mahogany. The type is rich in diversity of forbs and associated grasses. Mountain brush communities occur between 5,000 and 9,000 ft (1,524 and 2,743 m). Annual precipitation varies from a low of 15 inches (380 mm) to 26 inches (660 mm).
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Ponderosa pine

In the Intermountain West, ponderosa pine occurs at approximately the same elevation and on sites with the same annual precipitation as does the mountain brush type. Mountain brush types are found on heavier soils than ponderosa pine, which prefers well-drained, coarser textured soils, with soil pH close to neutral, and more summer precipitation.
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Sage Grouse Species

This list includes plants that have been identified by the BLM as priority species for improving sage grouse habitat.
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Shadscale saltbush

Shadscale-saltbush communities dominate broad valley bottoms and adjacent foothills where they merge with big sagebrush and juniper-pinyon. Shadscale is the most common and abundant shrub of the salt desert shrubland. Shadscale is found in heavy soils; on highly alkaline soils, shadscale occurs in nearly pure stands. Annual precipitation on these areas is generally less than 10 inches (250 mm), with many areas receiving from 3 to 8 inches (80 to 200 mm). Shadscale exists as nearly pure stands with large open spaces among plants in valley bottoms. On higher slopes it exists in fairly complex mixtures with other low shrubs and some grasses.
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Wyoming big sagebrush

This subspecies can be found throughout the Intermountain West on xeric sites, foothills, valleys, and mesas between 2,500 and 7,000 ft (760 and 2,100 m). Annual precipitation varies from 7 to 15 inches (180 to 280 mm). Soils on which Wyoming big sagebrush occurs are usually well drained, gravelly to stony, and may have low water-holding capacity. Soils are shallow, usually less than about 18 inches (46 cm) deep. Fewer herbaceous species are associated with Wyoming big sagebrush than with basin or mountain big sagebrush. Native bunchgrasses are often important understory species in Wyoming big sagebrush communities.
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