News Release

For  Release: May 31, 2007         
Contact: Mike Chiodini, (831) 630-5029
CA-CC-07-47

BLM Announces Upcoming Prescribed Burn in Clear Creek Canyon

The Hollister Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be conducting a prescribed burn the week of June 13, 2007 to control the spread of yellow star thistle on public lands in the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) in southern San Benito and western Fresno Counties.

Approximately 30 acres is scheduled to be burned. Weather permitting, the prescribed burn will take one to two days to complete.  The goal is to deplete yellow star thistle seeds by burning the area in consecutive years.

Yellow star thistle is native to Eurasia and was introduced to California around 1850. The presence of yellow star thistle in the CCMA was discovered approximately 16 years ago and has increased in density, displacing native plants and animal species. Recent reports indicate that the invasive plant occupies between 10 and 15 million acres in California. The invasion throughout the western United States has been associated with the transport of seeds on the under carriages of vehicles. While vehicle use is heavy in the CCMA, the infestation has been limited to the main access along Clear Creek Canyon Road. It is critical to remove the star thistle population before it spreads throughout the entire management area.

Yellow star thistle is also poisonous to horses, causing a nervous disorder called “chewing disease” (migropallidal encephalomalacia), which is fatal once symptoms develop. Horses are the only animal known to be affected in this manner and should not be allowed to graze on the plant.

For further information on the prescribed burn, contact the Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office Fire Mitigation Specialist Mike Chiodini at (831) 630-5029.

-BLM-

Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, CA 95023