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Native Plants for Roadside Revegetation: Influences on Slope Stabilization, Erosion, and Sediment Control and Prevention of Weed Encroachment

Started: June, 2012 Ended: February, 2014 Project ID #4W4053 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

The final report provides practical information for improving roadway revegetation in Idaho. The overall objective was to monitor vegetation and soil attributes to determine effective means for establishing perennial native vegetation, reducing surface erosion, and preventing weed encroachment. The results provide guidance and recommendations on species selection, seeding methods and site preparation techniques. Bluebunch wheatgrass and Idaho fescue were the best performing grasses. Grass species that consistently establish where seeded but have a low canopy cover include sheep fescue, western wheatgrass, and basin wildrye. Forbs and shrub species had low establishment success rates and low percent canopy cover on roadside revegetation projects. If forbs are desired, it is recommended to use species that are known to establish well, relatively inexpensive, and tolerant of the herbicides being applied to control weeds.


The objective of this research was to gather and compile data from three established research sites and supplement these data with information gathered at additional highway revegetation or reclamation sites as determined by the ITD reclamation specialist to further evaluate.


Establishing native vegetation communities on roadsides can be a proactive approach to sustainable roadways. Revegetation with native species is the preferred management practice on Idaho roadways. The environmental and economic benefits of increasing desirable vegetation along Idaho roadways include: improving slope stabilization, soil conservation, roadway safety while reducing erosion, roadside maintenance costs and noxious weeds in right-of-ways. Selecting appropriate plant species for revegetation is the foundation for successful roadside revegetation. This research was an extension of an original project conducted by Dr. James Kingery and others. This extension collected an additional two years of data from the previously established research project sites as well as collected data from other new Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) roadside reclamation projects that used native plant seedings. The combination of the information will help ITD address specific revegetation requirements and determine the most effective ways to provide for the long-term establishment of desirable perennial native vegetation as well as reduce surface erosion and weed establishment.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Idaho Transportation Department (IDT) Sponsor
  • KC Harvey Environmental, LLC Partner

Part of: Road Ecology, Vegetation

Project Tagged In: roadside vegetatiion

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