ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management, Elko District has begun Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) work on the seven largest 2012 fires within the Elko District that consumed more than 75,000 acres.
Elko BLM is partnering with Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine and Nevada Department of Wildlife to conduct ESR work on the 2012 Willow Fire which consumed a large portion of priority Greater Sage-grouse habitat as well as affected Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat.
Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine contributed more than $490,000 toward treatment costs in a cooperative agreement to treat private lands with the Elko District BLM contributing $565,000 toward the treatment costs of public lands.
“The BLM appreciates Barrick’s participation in this important effort,” said Ken Miller, BLM Elko District Manager. “Wildlife doesn’t care if it is public or private lands. When private land owners like Barrick’s Goldstrike work with BLM and NDOW it provides for the rehabilitation of Northeastern Nevada rangelands on a landscape level basis.”
“Our investments in fire recovery and habitat improvement pay dividends that benefit wildlife and the many people who enjoy and make their living in Nevada’s high desert,” says Andy Cole, general manager at Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife is providing Ruby Pipeline Mitigation funding of $250,000 to be used to facilitate Greater Sage-grouse habitat rehabilitation on private and public lands on the 2012 burned areas.
Recent weather conditions have allowed for BLM crews to get a start on seeding treatments of 2012 burned areas. The seeding treatments include both rangeland drills and aerial application and focus on the rehabilitation of Greater Sage-grouse and other critical wildlife habitat, such as Lahontan cutthroat trout, mule deer and pronghorn.
Treatments include the ground and aerial application of grass, forb and shrub seeds as well as fence repair, erosion control structures and noxious weed treatments. There will also be temporary protective fence construction to ensure recovery of native vegetation protecting public land user’s investment in range rehabilitation.
In addition, aggressive noxious weed detection surveys and treatments will be conducted across the burned areas to prevent any potential weed infestations occurring as a result of the fires. BLM weed crews will work treating weeds through an integrated approach using both chemical and mechanical methods.
The fire areas being rehabilitated are: Kittridge, five miles north of Elko; Chimney, on the Southfork Indian Reservation; Willow, five miles west of Tuscarora; Lime, seven miles southeast of Wilson Reservoir; Morning Star, one mile south of Jackpot; 20-Mile, 40 miles northeast of Wells; and Stud, seven miles southeast of Charleston.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.