Watch: Video shows scourge of cheatgrass in western Colorado

The Gunnison sage-grouse has withstood millennia of changes in Western Colorado. But now the species faces extinction as the invasive plant cheatgrass invades its last refuge — the remote Gunnison Basin. Basin residents now have a choice to make. Do they take drastic steps to combat cheatgrass? Or do they let cheatgrass-fueled wildfires snuff out a beautiful, bizarre and iconic species?

Sam Liebl created the 10-minute documentary “Basin on the Brink” as part of his graduate studies in the master’s in environmental management program at Western Colorado University. The film was supported in part by the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Watch the video below.

Header Image: Invasive cheatgrass is impacting the Gunnison sage-grouse in western Colorado. Credit: Sam Liebl