Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) is a major program in the Salt Lake Field Office (SLFO). Each year thousands of acres are stabilized and rehabilitated following wildfire. This involves reseeding treatments, efforts to protect burned areas, and erosion control work to prevent further loss of topsoil.
Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation of burned and other disturbed areas has evolved into a major effort to restore loss of natural vegetation on SLFO lands primarily through the Great Basin Restoration Initiative. Efforts to stabilize burned sites on the SLFO involved 40,000 acres in fiscal year 2006. During fiscal year 2005, 18,000 acres were stabilized and during fiscal year 2004, 8,500 acres were stabilized or rehabilitated.
Activities involved with ESR include: Rangeland drilling or seeding, hand planting of shrubs, flying on of seed and then covering the seed by anchor chaining, construction of earthen and straw sediment catch basins to hold soil and prevent accelerated erosion, construction of protective fencing to control livestock and human access, to name a few.
In 2006, two isolated riparian areas on the Pilot mountain range presented a challenge to the stabilization effort on the Pilot Fire - some 2000 acres. These areas were seriously burned, with one being completely blackened. The burn has been a serious threat to the Lahontan Cutthroat fish, which is on the federal list of threatened and endangered fish. We have worked closely with other state and federal agencies to provide protective efforts for the fish.