Inter-Mountain Basins Big Sagebrush Steppe

This ecological system includes open sagebrush steppe, which are habitats of mixed grassland with scattered shrubs, contain Wyoming or basin big sagebrush, antelope bitterbrush or other western sagelike shrubs with usually between 10% and 25% cover. Native bunchgrasses that form dense clumps at their base, along with other native grasses, tend to cover well over 25% of the ground, distinguishing this from Inter-Mountain Basins Big Sagebrush Shrubland which has more shrubs and less grass. With overgrazing and/or suppression of natural wildfires, some sagebrush steppe can be converted to sagebrush shrublands. This is a very widespread type occurring on rolling and flat plains, with a variety of soil conditions. This type occurs throughout the western U.S. and is dominant in the Columbia Plateau and the northwestern Great Plains of Wyoming and Montana. Pronghorn antelope, sage grouse, pygmy rabbit, sage sparrow, and many plant and animal species utilize sagebrush steppe as their primary habitat. For more information, see NatureServe Explorer.

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