News Release

For Release: Feb. 27, 2008             
Contact:  Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
CA-N-08-25

BLM, Fire Safe Council Plan Juniper Thinning Projects Near Madeline

Crews from the Bureau of Land Management will be conducting juniper thinning projects beginning this summer and fall at several public land locations near the Madeline Plains, about 30 miles south of Alturas.  The ongoing projects will take several years to complete.
 
Peter Hall, a forester in the BLM’s Alturas Field Office, said juniper trees will be cut to reduce stand densities in areas where juniper has encroached into sage-steppe ecosystems.  In most project areas trees will be removed with mechanized equipment, such as feller-bunchers, while crews will use chainsaws to take out trees in other areas.
 
Hall said projects are planned in the Blue Door Flat area about seven miles east of Madeline, on a 1,000-acre project site near Ash Valley and in the Knox Mountain area northwest of Madeline.  The Lassen Fire Safe Council and Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District are partners.
 
“We will remove trees to encourage more growth of grasses and brush.  This increases the variety of plants, protecting the land against erosion, and providing better habitat for a wider variety of wildlife species, including sage-grouse which are of special concern,” Hall said.  “Reduction of juniper density also reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

Hall said a goal of the projects is to reduce juniper to the levels of 100 to 150 years ago, leaving stands of “old growth” juniper in place.
 
Much of the material harvested will be available for biomass fuel.  Work will be done by BLM crews and contractors.
 
For more information, contact Hall at (530) 233-4666. 

-BLM-

Alturas Field Office    708 West 12th Street     Alturas, CA  96101