Bitterbrush - History

Bitterbrush - History

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Bitterbush is a small American tropical tree having red berries.

(YN-58: dp. 1100; 1. 194'7"; b. 37'; dr. 13'6"; s. 12 k.;
cpl. 56; a. 13"; cl. Ailanthus)

Almond (YN-58) was renamed Bitterbush 3 April 1943; launched 30 June 1943 by Everett-Pacific Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Everett, Wash.; sponsored by Miss Beverly Jean Miller; and commissioned 15 January 1944, Lieutenant H. E. Harrocks, USNR, in command.

Reclassified AN-39, 20 January 1944, Bitterbush departed Seattle, Wash., for San Francisco 26 February 1944. She tended the anti- submarine nets there until 29 November 1944. Moving to Iwo Jima, via San Pedro, Calif., Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Guam, she tended nets until beginning her homeward passage 17 September 1945. Returning to San Francisco, she was decommissioned 4 January 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission 7 May 1947.

Bitterbush received one battle star for her participation in the Iwo Jima operation.

Antelope Bitterbrush

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

Product Description

Antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) is a very palatable, high quality shrub for big game and livestock. It also provides cover for small animals and birds. It is considered a medium quality cover for sage-grouse. Bitterbrush seed is an important source of food for small animals. The shrub is also used for reclamation of mined areas where adapted. It has the potential for use as roadside beautification and xeriscape plantings.

Antelope bitterbrush is an important native browse shrub in the intermountain Western United States. It is adapted to a wide range of soils with 8 to 34 inches of annual precipitation and occurs at elevations of 4000 to 8500 feet, but has been noted at 11,000 feet in California. The shrub is slow growing with a moderate to very deep root system and wide ecotypic variations. It is normally 2 to 6 feet in height and up to 8 feet in width with wedge shaped, three lobed leaves (some are persistent in winter). Branches near the soil may layer (branches that touch the soil develop roots) providing additional rooting for the plant. Flowering occurs in late spring to early summer with yellow to white blossoms.

Since antelope bitterbrush is a very palatable shrub for big game and livestock, its use should be controlled or it can be easily eliminated by over use. The shrub is most often used by big game in the fall, winter, or early spring when other plants are still covered by snow. Stands of bitterbrush can become decadent with no use and mature plants should be browsed for good forage production and vigor. However, no more than 50 to 60 percent of current annual growth should be removed. The literature indicates that bitterbrush is not a fire resistant shrub, but is fire dependent and light to moderate fires may enhance stands.

Bitterbrush, Antelope

Incredibly tough and beautiful high-desert shrub--very drought-tolerant!

When the bitterbrush dons its profuse yellow and white flowers in late spring, the foothills are filled with their heavenly wafting perfume and the bees drink their fill. Plants provide cover and seeds provide food for small mammals and birds. Highly valuable forage plant for big game. This attractive deciduous shrub grows 3-6 ft tall and wide and is incredibly drought-tolerant once established.

Also called quinine brush or buckbrush, bitterbrush is highly medicinal. Called hunabi in the Northern Paiute language. The Utah Museum of Natural History has a lot of information about the medicinal uses of bitterbrush in Northern Paiute, Shoshone, and Klamath cultures. We acknowledge the impact colonization has had on the ancestral foodways and medicines of this area, and are seeking guidance about how we can best be of use in supporting Indigenous-led efforts to restore these ancestral foodways.

Seeds were sustainably wildcrafted in the Great Basin by Kyle and friends at Native-Seed Company.

Directions: For best results, scatter seeds in fall or winter . Seeds require 3 - 6 weeks of cold stratification prior to germinating. Moisture required the first few years, until the plant is well-established.
If starting indoors, plant in a deep (12”+) pot with well-draining soil and transplant out after last frost.


Photograph courtesy of Matt Lavin through the Creative Commons License.
Link to original.

A flowering bitterbrush shrub in the early summer.

Photograph by Sheri Hagwood. Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management Jarbidge Resource Area.

purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC.antelope bitterbrush

Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) is found throughout the Nevada deserts, and has several other common names, including Antelope Bush, Antelope Bitterbrush, Buckbrush, and Quininebrush. It is a hearty plant, but quite flammable. Following wildfires, however, the plant is able to regenerate from the roots, a great benefit in environmental restoration.

Bitterbrush grows on arid slopes at elevations between 3,000 and 10,000 feet. It prefers dry, rocky, well-drained soils and can be found commonly on south-facing mountain ridges. A deciduous shrub, it grows to between 1 to 3 meters tall, and has small, slender leaves. Bitterbrush generally blooms in late spring, producing pale yellow clusters of flowers. It is similar in look to sagebrush, the state flower of Nevada, but its leaves are generally brighter green. If there is doubt, the characteristic &ldquosage&rdquo odor of big sagebrush is absent in bitterbrush. It gains its common name from the extremely bitter taste of the leaves. Despite its bitterness, it is an important food source for the wildlife (primarily deer, elk and mountain sheep) of the mountainous regions during the harsh winter months, and was widely used by various native people, including the Paiute, Western Shoshone, and Washoe Indians.

Bitterbrush had many medicinal uses for the Indians. A tea could be made from either the bark or the leaves of the plant. It was found to be a restorative and soothing drink for many ailments, including coughs. The Shoshone used the bark to grind into a powder and make into a poultice, which was used for treating cuts and sores. It was also made into a liquid wash for insect bites, rashes, and skin irritations. The outer seed coat could be used to produce a purple dye used to stain items made of wood, and arrows could be made from the wood of the bitterbrush.

Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, brought back a sample of the then-unknown plant for study in 1806. The scientific name, Purshia, honors Frederick Pursh, who used Lewis&rsquos specimen to describe this species of plant. The original Lewis specimen is housed in the Lewis & Clark Herbarium in Philadelphia.

History of Montpelier WMA

Montpelier WMA is a small part of a once heavily stocked winter range for mule deer. Phosphate mining and livestock use have made serious inroads into this critical habitat. When Idaho Fish and Game acquired land from the Stauffer Chemical Company in 1971, the bitterbrush and some sagebrush was hedged so severely that virtually no forage was available to deer in the winter. Subsequent reduction in deer numbers and removal of livestock has allowed rejuvenation of browse species. By 1985, the bitterbrush had responded well.

Later in 1971, the department purchased an additional 776 acres. An additional 320 acres was acquired in 1974 and another 78 acres in 1985. The BLM included an adjacent 505 acres of federal land in a cooperative wildlife/range management program for this section of the Montpelier Canyon “front.” The department leases 320 acres of IDL land that adjoins the previous purchases, the BLM land, and USFS lands to the north and east.

Of the 558 acres given to the department by the Stauffer Chemical Company, approximately 350 acres had been stripped for the surface mining of phosphate. A portion of the mined land had been used as a shooting range by a local rod and gun club. As part of the purchase agreement, Bear Lake County has used the pit area as a sanitary landfill.

In 1997, approximately 420 acres of the landfill and surrounding property was deeded back to Bear Lake County. Although the agreement included assurances that the shooting range on the property would remain accessible to the public, the Department has no further management interest in that parcel. The department retained ownership and management responsibility for the balance of the former mine property. It includes the riparian area along Montpelier Creek and a small storage shed near the landfill access road. Former mining claims also include two adits into the south facing slope of Montpelier Canyon. Both entrances were gated off by IDL in recent years in the interest of public safety and to preserve bat habitat.

Department developments to date include boundary fences, a parking area, and informational signing. The parking corral was refurbished in 2010. A well is located near a historical agricultural field in the center of the area, but has not been used since the department acquired the property. Formerly cultivated fields have returned to a shrub-steppe habitat type.

The habitat management program for Montpelier WMA has included techniques such as planting desirable forage species for elk and mule deer, fertilization of selected areas and exclusion of livestock. Ten thousand bitterbrush seedlings were planted in the mid-1970s, shortly after the area came into department ownership. Bitterbrush and small burnett were seeded by broadcast method in 1989. Another 2,500 bitterbrush seedlings were planted in 1995 following a wildfire, and then again in 1997. The most recent shrub planting was also the most extensive when 15,000 bitterbrush seedlings were planted by contract in 2011. Vegetation transects were established in the early 1990s following a fertilization experiment, but due to time constraints monitoring has not been repeated since 2006. Each year approximately 30 acres are monitored and treated for noxious weeds. Canada thistle, musk thistle, dyer’s woad, houndstongue, black henbane and leafy spurge are treated through chemical, mechanical, and biological control methods.

Montpelier WMA is managed along with three other WMAs by the Regional Wildlife Biologist assigned to the East Habitat District of the Southeast Region under the supervision of the Regional Habitat Manager. The habitat management program is focused primarily on vegetation management in order to carry out the mission of enhancing elk and mule deer winter range and providing quality habitat for other wildlife and fish.


Purshia (bitterbrush or cliff-rose) is a small genus of 5-8 species of flowering plants in the family Rosaceae, native to western North America, where they grow in dry climates from southeast British Columbia in Canada south throughout the western United States to northern Mexico. The classification of Purshia within the Rosaceae has been unclear. [1] [2] The genus was originally placed in the subfamily Rosoideae, but is now placed in subfamily Dryadoideae. [3]

They are deciduous or evergreen shrubs, typically reaching 0.3–5 m tall. The leaves are small, 1–3 cm long, deeply three- to five-lobed, with revolute margins. The flowers are 1–2 cm diameter, with five white to pale yellow or pink petals and yellow stamens. The fruit is a cluster of dry, slender, leathery achenes 2–6 cm long. The roots have root nodules that host the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Frankia. [4]

The evergreen species were treated separately in the genus Cowania in the past this genus is still accepted by some botanists.

Bitterbrush - History

Continuing the topic of bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata – see “Bitterbrush in Winter” 01-12-2018)), I have photographs of bitterbrush fruits taken in May and July on Timbered Crater (Shasta County CA) and along Modoc National Forest Road 40N11 near Adin CA (Modoc County).

The pale yellow (sometimes white) flowers of bitterbrush occur singly, either terminally on the branch or in the leaf axils. The 5 sepals are joined at the base to form a receptocalyx. Receptocalyx is a combination of receptacle, the top of a stem that is enlarged and bears the flower parts, and calyx, the sepals collectively. The 18 to 30 stamens are inserted in a single row on the flower margin along with the five petals. The stamens and petals surround a pistil with a single-celled superior ovary.

The fruit that develops from the bitterbrush flower is a leathery, oblong achene (one-seeded fruit that does not open). The receptocalyx persists and surrounds the base of the achene. As the fruit develops it tapers on the end opposite the receptocalyx. The style (center portion of the pistil between the ovary and stigma) also persists in the fruit and resembles a string attached to the tapered tip. A fully mature bitterbrush fruit to me resembles a dunce cap tucked among the sepals.

Bitterbrush is bitter tasting, however, it is one of the most important browse shrubs in the Western United States.

Bitterbrush - History

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Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research: Dubois, ID


At this Location

Title: Very large scale aerial (VLSA) imagery for assessing postfire bitterbrush recovery.

Interpretive Summary: Evaluating the effects of management activities on vegetation in extensive rangelands with traditional methods requires much time and effort. Very large scale aerial (VLSA) imagery is an efficient tool for collecting the data required to evaluate these effects. We analyzed VLSA imagery collected from a survey of the U. S. Sheep Experiment Station along with soil and 68 years of fire history data to test whether VLSA imagery can be used to evaluate the effect of fire recovery interval on bitterbrush cover and density. The relationship between postfire recovery interval and bitterbrush cover and density were similar to those previously reported in the literature for eastern Idaho and indicate that analysis of VLSA imagery is an effective method for evaluating the impact of fire history on bitterbrush recovery.

Fast Facts:

Indigenous groups have utilized bitterbrush to make a purple dye from its seeds, as well as moccasins and diapers from its wood.

Antelope bitterbrush is vital to many animal species, hence the "antelope" in its name. These shrubs are especially important as they produce food in winter when many animals are food insecure.

Antelope bitterbrush’s leaves are water-loss resistant, making them well-adapted to thriving in desert landscapes. These shrubs are often used for rangeland restoration in Nevada.

“Tridentata” in the shrubs' scientific name refers to their three-toothed leaves.

These shrubs can sprout roots out of their branches when they reach the ground, thus allowing them to expand in size.

Yakima Training Center

The Yakima Training Center (YTC [1] ) is a United States Army training center, used for maneuver training, Land Warrior system testing and as a live fire exercise area. It is located in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Washington, bounded on the west by Interstate 82, on the south by the city of Yakima, on the north by the city of Ellensburg and Interstate 90, and on the east by the Columbia River. It is a part of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. [2] It comprises 327,000 acres (132,332 hectares) of land, most of which consists of shrub-steppe, making it one of the largest areas of shrub-steppe habitat remaining in Washington state. The terrain is undulating and dominated by three east-west parallel ridges, the Saddle Mountains, Manastash Ridge, and Umtanum Ridge anticlines, which are part of the Yakima Fold Belt near the western edge of the Columbia River Plateau. Vegetation consists of sagebrush, bitterbrush, and bunch grass. [1] [3] Vagabond Army Airfield and Selah Airstrip are located on the Yakima Training Center. The training center is also used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force for exercises. [4]

From 1942 to 1946 the U.S. Army leased 160,000 acres (650 km 2 ) of land in the area for the Yakima Anti-Aircraft Artillery Range. Then in 1951 the Army purchased 261,000 acres (1,060 km 2 ) for the Yakima Firing Center, which would become the modern Yakima Training Center. [2]

The United States Army identified a need for a large maneuver area in the Pacific Northwest and appointed a board of officers to negotiate with local landowners to lease 160,000 acres in the Yakima area. In 1941, just prior to World War II, military units in the Pacific Northwest began using the Yakima Anti-Aircraft Artillery Range for range firing and small unit tests and in 1942 the first temporary buildings were constructed on Umptanum Ridge about eight miles northeast of the current cantonment area. During the latter part of 1942 and 1943, another camp was built in the location of the present cantonment area and was named the Yakima Firing Center. The 9th Service Command assumed control of the Yakima Firing Center and supported training for numerous Army Reserve and National Guard infantry, artillery, and engineer units through the remainder of World War II.

The Army decided to enlarge the Yakima Firing Center because of increasing training requirements and its future potential. In 1951, the Army bought 261,198 acres at a cost of $3.3 million. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Yakima Firing Center supported training activities and exercises for Fort Lewis units and the Washington Army National Guard. These exercises ranged up to division level and included major exercises named HILLTOP, APPLEJACK, and COOLY CREST. In 1965 the United States Marine Corps conducted Operation YAKIMA ATTACK, which was a joint air/ground exercise of the type that illustrates the true value of Yakima Firing Center as a maneuver training area.

During the Vietnam War era, Yakima Firing Center was used almost exclusively for U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard training Fort Lewis had become a training center and no longer housed a division. However, in 1971 the 9th Infantry Division was activated at Fort Lewis, and in 1974 their first divisional exercise, BOLD FIRE, marked the return of the active Army to Yakima Firing Center. Users of the Yakima Firing Center continued to grow over the next several years.

The single largest exercise ever conducted at Yakima Firing Center occurred in 1976, when 6,000 active, reserve, and National Guard, and sister services converged on the installation for Joint Training Exercise BRAVE SHIELD.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the 9th Division and the Washington Army National Guard trained extensively on the installation. They conducted tank gunner, extensive maneuver exercises and tests. New equipment was frequently tested at Yakima Firing Center because of its rugged, austere conditions. The new equipment provided greater mobility and the new weapons had greater range, so the Army determined that more area was required.

In 1987, actions began that resulted in the acquisition of more than 63,000 acres at a cost of $18 million following congressional approval in 1992. During this period, other major changes occurred for Yakima Firing Center. The 9th Infantry Division deactivated at Fort Lewis, and a brigade from the 7th Infantry Division moved in construction of the Multi-Purpose Range Complex was completed in 1988 and it opened for business in July 1989, and the Yakima Firing Center was renamed the YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER in 1990. The new name more accurately described the mission and capability of the installation.

The force structure at Fort Lewis continued to change, and the stationing of three Stryker brigades from the 2nd Infantry Division, 1 Artillery and ADA Brigade and a Battlefield Surveillance Brigade once again increased training levels at Yakima Training Center.

Major improvements to the installation increased its capability to support training. Another major range project, the Multi-Purpose Training Range, was completed 250 miles of high quality road were constructed a state-of-the-art Wash Rack facility, a new fuel facility, and an expanded Ammunition Supply Point enhanced the expanded maneuver area.

Yakima Training Center provides training support for transient units and organizations by sustaining training lands, range complexes, and support facilities in order to enhance readiness. The installation's customers include not only the Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Army National Guard units, but also U.S. Special Operations Command, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard units, plus local and federal law enforcement agencies and allied forces from Canada and Japan.

In addition to its role as a training facility, the Yakima facility has been asserted to play a major role in ECHELON, the global surveillance network operated by Five Eyes. [5] [6] The SIGINT portion of the facility is referred to as Yakima Research Station. [7] The small Yakima intercept station remains an important means of intercepting COMINT passing through the plethora of INTELSAT and other international communications satellites orbiting geosynchronously above the earth. [8]

In April 2013, the Yakima Herald reported that the Yakima Research Station was going to be shut down at some unspecified time in the future with its function moving to a facility in Colorado. [7] The office of Congressman Doc Hastings, in whose district the facility is located, was notified by the NSA in summer 2012 that the facility was going to be shut down. [7] This was subsequently confirmed, with the Navy posting an OPNAV notice of closure. [9] The functions of the facilities will be moved to the Aerospace Data Facility at Buckley Space Force Base in Colorado and result in the loss of 100 or more jobs from the Yakima area. [8] According to James Bamford, the facility's focus on satellite communications led to its closure. "That's history now", said Bamford in 2013. "Cyberspace and [supercomputers] are the frontier." [10]

Watch the video: Antelope Bitterbrush