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Malheur County to experiment in fight to stop range loss

Protecting rangeland with projects such as seeding is the driving force behind a new experiment that involves grazing. (BLM photo)

JORDAN VALLEY – Rancher Mark Mackenzie is embarking a science experiment that could help cattle, sage grouse and federal rangelands.

He’s hoping to prove that cattle can help check the ever-spreading invasive weeds and grasses that are choking millions of acres of range.

The experiment will take hold on his grazing allotments this year in five-acre plots that will give clues for how to care for miles and miles of sagebrush country.

There is no time to waste, according to a new federal report. Invasive plant infestations now cover more than 100 million acres of public and private lands in the west. The plants crowd out native plants, diminish wildlife habitat, and leave little for . . .