Similar in concept to a seed bank, the grass reservoir acts as a storehouse of native grasses for reseeding efforts on the surrounding landscape. The concept of a grass reservoir does not require seed storage but rather takes advantage of naturally occurring stands of native grasses which are protected from browsing and allowed to go to seed. Seed from these stands of native grasses are redistributed by the winds onto barren areas encouraging a natural reseeding of the surrounding landscape. In grazed areas such as the New Mexico State land and BLM lands that surround the Painted Pony Resort, the effect of naturally spreading grass seed will over time start new grass stands in more barren areas. This effect will repeat itself on a yearly basis as long as the central grass reservoir is maintained and will continue to build new grass stands not only at PPR but on lands outside the estate.
Of course the native browsers of grass will have an impact on the efficiency of the reseeding process. Ant and rodent species which forage on grass seed will reduce the spreading efficiency but these are naturally occurring grass harvesters and in comparison to the larger herbivores should have little impact on dispersal. The approximately 240 acres fenced will not keep out deer, antelope, and other large native herbivores but their populations are relatively small compared with the main browser, cattle, which are excluded by the fence.
A preliminary survey of grass species on the property has reached 10 species of native grasses. Not being a botanist it will take some time to identify all the grass species but black gamma and sideoats gamma appear to be present, see below.
|The San Simon Riverbed as a grass reservoir|
|Tentatively identified as black gamma|
|Tentatively identified as sideoats gamma|