Cheat grass origins?

I was reading Janice's post about cheat grass overtaking the native grasses in Idaho due to overgrazing. We had the same problem in Colorado. Does anyone know where cheat grass came from? Is it indigenous to North America? We also refer to it as "wild oats." I don't know its scientific name. Thanks for any info. Gary
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Gary,

The scientific name is Bromus tectorum. AFAIK, it originally comes from Central Europe. At least i read that it's indigenous to Germany....
Best wishes Gaby
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Mrs. Gaby Chaudry
http://www.gaby.de/bilder /
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I worked on Rangelands in Oregon and Nevada for a season for BLM. I think I remember hearing that in came over in livestock and was 'passed' into our ecosystems that way. I believe it was locally attributed to Basque herders in the Malheur County, OR area...Not sure if this is an exurban legend.
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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Gaby & Mike- Thanks for your responses & info. Having the cheat grass up on my hillside is sort of a two-edged sword. The good part is that it helps cut down on soil erosion. The disadvantages are that it's a fire hazard when it dries out and it's a real pain to pick the seeds out of your shoes & socks after walking through it. Take care, Gary
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Gary wrote:

It's also awful if you have floppy-eared dogs!
I grew up in western Nebraska and our dogs were in the vet regularly to have cheat grass pulled out from deep in their ear.
amy
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How right you are, Amy! I remember as a kid we had a couple of cocker spaniels, and they had a miserable time with the cheat grass getting down in their ears. Cockleburrs were rough on them too, although they didn't get all the way down into the ear canal like the cheat grass seeds did. One of the dogs got really nasty about it because we had to take him to the vet so often. Gary
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