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BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 560

Volunteers help public lands heal after Rush Fire

Volunteers have been demonstrating their appreciation of the public lands by donating time and money to help the BLM restore lands burned in last summer's Rush Fire in northeast California and northwest Nevada.

Members of the Mule Deer Foundation and Lassen County's Honey Lake Valley Pointing Dog Club joined eight staffers from the Eagle Lake Field Office over the weekend of Dec. 8 to plant 1,500 bitterbrush seedlings on a burned site.  The volunteers plan to assist on two more planting outings.

volunteers plant seedlings in a burned area
Volunteers fan out across the landscape planting seedlings and protective tubes to protect the plants from foraging animals.

a volunteer plants a seedling
Bitterbrush seedlings are put into the ground next to the skeletons of shrubs burned in the Rush Fire.

Markers show where many new seedlings have been planted in a burned area
New plantings dot the landscape of a burned area after  one section of planting is completed.

The Mule Deer Foundation donated $5,000, which provided 3,000 bitterbrush seedlings and Vexar tubes.  Bitterbrush, a slow-growing shrub, is an important part of the diet for mule deer and many other wildlife species.

In addition to projects such as this, the Eagle Lake Field Office is currently planting native grass and shrub seed on about 5,000 burned acres. Resource specialists feel that higher elevations of the burned area will recover naturally.

The Rush Fire, ignited by lightning in August, burned more than 315,000 acres, mostly public land, in Lassen County and Washoe County, Nevada.  It burned parts of nine livestock grazing allotments, important to area ranchers.  It charred parts of six wilderness study areas, portions of nine livestock grazing allotments, and habitat in  the Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Area.

- Photos by Valda Lockie and Dereck Wilson

- Jeff Fontana, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Northern California District (December, 2012)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 560 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 12-12-2012