News Release

For Release:Aug. 24, 2007
Contact: Jeff Fontana (BLM) (530) 252-5332; Laura Williams, Modoc NF (530) 233-8713       CA-N-07-71

Agencies Release Draft Sagebrush Steppe Restoration Strategy

A draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) evaluating alternatives for restoration of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem in a wide area of northeast California and far northwest Nevada  has been released for public review and comment.
The Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, developed by the Modoc National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Modoc County, focuses on restoring the diversity of vegetation on sagebrush-steppe ecosystems impacted by expanding stands of Western juniper trees.  The DEIS applies to more than six million acres of public and private lands in parts of Modoc, Lassen, eastern Shasta and eastern Siskiyou counties in California and extreme northwest Washoe County in Nevada.
A 45-day public comment period opens Aug. 31 and ends Oct. 15.
Copies of the document have been mailed to requesters.  It is also available online at  Printed and compact disc copies are available by contacting the Modoc National Forest, 800 W. 12th St., Alturas, CA  96101, or by contacting Project Lead Rob Jeffers (530) 233-8816, email:
Written comments should be sent by mail to: Sage Steppe Ecosytem Restoration Strategy, 800 West 12th St., Alturas, CA 96101.  Email comments should directed to:

Comments must be postmarked by Oct. 15, 2007.
The DEIS contains a variety of alternatives to restore sagebrush steppe areas.  It identifies where treatments, including juniper removal, would occur and the methods that would be used. Many of these landscapes, once consisting of grass and brush, have become dominated by juniper trees.  In some areas the trees have crowded out all other plants, leaving bare ground in the areas beneath the trees.  Proposed treatments would thin juniper stands to allow the return of a more diverse mix of grass and brush species. Some juniper removed during the projects may be made available for renewable energy production.

The restoration strategy would guide decision making by the Modoc National Forest and the BLM over the next 50 years.  The proposal would not direct activities on private land, but would provide guidance that could be adopted by interested landowners.