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North Antelope Thinning Stewardship
Project Thins Pinyon and Juniper Trees for Biomass Use
Project: Cut and pile pinyon pine and juniper trees on 3,600 acres in north Steptoe and Antelope valleys for use as biomass renewable energy. The thinning project and is part of a larger 12,000-acre habitat improvement and fuels reduction project. The project area is located in Nevada’s White Pine County, about 65 miles north of Ely.
ARRA Funding Level: $745,000
February 2, 2011: $729,420 obligated, $105,912 spent. Thinning is being completed at a rate of 80 acres per month. Approximately 162 of 1,670 acres have been completed. The cultural ground inventory is completed, and the cultural contract is 85 percent complete.
Contracts: The $690,044 contract was awarded to Country Construction of Ely.
Completion target date: The estimated completion date is June 30, 2012.
Jobs: The project has employed approximately 12 seasonal employees for the cultural work, and currently employs three people for the thinning work.
Local purchases: The contractor is a local business and employs local residents. All supplies are being purchased locally.
Benefits and Needs: The local community will benefit, as most of the biomass product from the project will be used locally for firewood and for a biomass heater at the Ely elementary school.
Background: The goals of the project are to improve habitat for wildlife and wild horses, return ecological conditions to a natural range of variability, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildland fire by removing pinyon pine and juniper trees from sagebrush communities.