DATE: April 29, 2005
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2005-28
BLM PLANNING PRESCRIBED BURNING
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko Field Office is planning to begin prescribed burns on up to 3,000 acres of pinion and juniper trees on the south and west sides of Spruce Mountain about 30 miles south of Wells, Nevada. Weather permitting; the burning project will be done between May 2 and May 15, 2005.
“We will be burning 20- to 200-acre blocks of heavy stands of pinion and junipers,” said Tom Reid, BLM Elko Field Office Fuels Manager. “The purpose of the burning is to create some holes in the heavy timber which means there will be different age classes of the trees when they grow back. This in turn results in making the area more resistant to catastrophic wildfire. In addition, the burning will create more diverse habitat and cover for wildlife – especially mule deer winter range.”
“Burning is planned to be done only on days that meet air quality standards and fire prescription parameters. There will be no road closures associated with the burning project, nor do we anticipate problems with smoky conditions. We want people to know we’re in the area and conducting the burning.”
Reid continued, “There are several partners working with BLM to accomplish the project – Nevada Department of Wildlife, US Forest Service Intermountain Research Station (Reno, NV), Rocky Mountain Elko Foundation, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, livestock permittee Jared Sorenson, and Placer Dome Bald Mountain Mine.”
“This is the first phase of the five-year Spruce Mountain Restoration Project which will treat up to 16,000 acres with a variety methods – prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and manual thinning. If we’re unable to burn the targeted 3,000 acres now, we’ll continue in Spring 2006. This fall we plan to treat an additional 200 acres by chaining and then aerial seeding,” Reid concluded.
For more information about this project, contact Tom Reid at the BLM Elko Field Office at (775) 753-0264.