Tumbleweeds are on a roll in Idaho

Tumbleweeds, big sky and the open road embody the romantic ideal of the American West. But in fact tumbleweeds are a symptom of the intensive livestock grazing that has allowed invasive weeds to muscle out native plants. The aliens, especially cheatgrass, cause wildfires to burn hotter and more frequently, reducing cover for small mammals, which are the primary diet of local birds of prey here in southwestern Idaho’s Snake River Valley. Photographer Glenn Oakley has been living and working in Idaho for more than 20 years.

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