U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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August 31, 2007

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Contact: Lesley A. Collins,
307-261-7603

Casper Field Office Plans Prescribed Burns

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Casper Field Office is planning and cooperating in several prescribed burns within Converse, Natrona, and Platte counties during the fall and winter of 2007. (map)

These prescribed fire projects include:

Converse County
Esterbrook pile burns: Slash piles created from forest thinning activities over the summer will be burned to improve fuel breaks adjacent to private property after the first permanent snowfall. The piles are scattered over approximately 8 acres 2 miles west of the community of Esterbrook.

Natrona County
Bathtub Spring prescribed burn: Treat approximately 700 acres of big sagebrush-grasslands and aspen woodlands with prescribed fire about 70 miles west-northwest of Casper and 10 miles north of Arminto on the Clear Creek grazing allotment between September 10th and October 2nd. The goals of this project are to: (1) increase the quantity and quality of herbaceous forage available to elk and mule deer on crucial winter range; (2) foster riparian/wetland area recovery; (3) improve the quality of herbaceous forage available to big game on spring and fall transitional ranges; (4) increase the quantity and quality of grass available for livestock grazing; and, (5) improve the age class diversity of aspen woodlands and associated big sagebrush-grassland communities.

Arminto Stock Driveway prescribed burn: Treat approximately 120 acres of big sagebrush-grasslands with prescribed fire about 70 miles west-northwest of Casper and 15 miles north of Arminto on the Arminto Stock Driveway between September 10th and October 8th. The goals of this project are to: (1) increase the quantity and quality of grass available for livestock grazing; (2) improve the age class diversity within big sagebrush-grassland communities, and (3) reduce hazardous fuel loads adjacent to private property and developed recreational sites.

Sand Draw prescribed burn: Treat approximately 600 acres big sagebrush-grassland and true mountain-mahogany communities with prescribed fire approximately 30 miles south of Casper within Bates Hole on the Garrett and Pocket grazing allotments between September 10th and October 8th. This project is designed to address the following resource problems and concerns: 1) Lack of quality and availability of browse to mule deer on crucial winter ranges; 2) poor to fair shrub conditions on pronghorn antelope crucial winter ranges; 3) poor recruitment of young shrubs into big sagebrush and true mountain-mahogany communities; 4) improve livestock distribution, and 5) long-term habitat diversification for sagebrush obligate wildlife species.

Bates Creek Watershed Restoration prescribed burn: Treat approximately 300 acres big sagebrush-grassland and aspen woodlands communities with prescribed fire approximately 35 miles south of Casper within Bates Hole on the Ice Cave Mountain grazing allotment between September 15th and October 31 st. The goals of this project are to: 1) improve the health and condition of aspen woodlands and associated sagebrush grassland communities; 2) improve species and age class diversity and structure of these communities; 3) improve habitat quality and quantity for wildlife, and, 4) achieve 10,000 aspen stems per acre above escape height in 5 years and 1,000 stems per acre at mature stage in aspen stands.

Muddy Mountain Forest Health prescribed burn: Treat approximately 30 acres of slash piles and debris created from forest health management activities with prescribed fire approximately 15 miles south of Casper within the Muddy Mountain Environmental Education Area after October 1st. The goals of this project are to: 1) improve the health and age class diversity of aspen woodlands and Lodgepole pine communities; and (2) reduce hazardous fuel loads adjacent to developed recreational sites.

Platte County
Cedar Draw prescribed burn: Treat approximately 1550 acres of true mountain mahogany shrublands with prescribed fire approximately 20 miles southwest of Wheatland within Mule Creek grazing allotment after November 1st. The primary goals of this project are to: 1) increase the quality of true mountain mahogany shrublands available to mule deer on crucial winter ranges; 2) increase the quantity and quality of herbaceous forages available to mule deer on crucial winter ranges; 3) create uneven aged stands of mixed mountain shrub communities across the landscape; 4) improve habitat diversity for other wildlife species (i.e., small game, upland game birds, etc.); 5) improve livestock grazing distribution by increasing the quality and quantity of herbaceous forage; and 6) reduce fuels that could contribute to increased wildfire severity 7) reintroduce fire to the vegetative community so that it more closely reflects an ecosystem with a fire return interval of 20 to 50 years.

All prescribed burn projects will be conducted in accordance with approved burn plans when favorable weather and fuel conditions permit. For further information, contact Eric Fransted or George Soehn at 307-261-7600.

-BLM-

 


 
Last updated: 05-13-2008