Field studies were initiated in 1973 to investigate the vegetative stabilization of processed oil shales and to follow moisture and soluble salt movement within the soil/shale profile. Research plots with two types of retorted shales (TOSCO II and USBM) with leaching and soil cover treatments were established at two locations: low-elevation (Anvil Points) and high-elevation (Piceance Basin) in western Colorado. Vegetation was established by intensive management including leaching, N and P fertilization, seeding, mulching, and irrigation. After seven growing seasons, a good vegetative cover remained with few differences between treatments, with the exception of the TOSCO retorted shale, south-aspect, which consistently supported less perennial vegetative cover than other treatments. With time, a shift from perennial grasses to dominance by shrubs was observed. Rodent activity on some treatments had a significantly negative effect on vegetative cover.