December 12, 2007
Contact: Bruce Collins,
Lander BLM Plans Rangeland Management Treatments
(Lander, Wyo.) The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lander Field Office is planning to conduct a long-term vegetation treatment project within the Government Draw area, located approximately 20 miles northeast of Lander. The mechanical treatments involve mowing and soil aeration and would be conducted each year during March and November for the next 10-15 years.
According to Lander Field Office fuels specialist Tim Kramer, the goal is to treat approximately 15-20 thousand acres within the proposed 80,000-acre treatment area. “The majority of the proposed treatment area is located on BLM-administered public land,” he said, “but there are also some small tracts of state and private rangeland that would only be treated with landowner permission.”
“The treatment locations would be situated throughout sagebrush habitat within the project area,” explained Kramer. The treatments would be a continuation of the Government Draw sagebrush project, which was initiated on an experimental basis in early 2006, said Kramer. “Due to the success of the 2006 and 2007 projects in meeting management objectives, it was decided that additional treatments would be beneficial,” he said.
The purpose of the treatments is to improve sagebrush habitat, Kramer stated. “The project will enhance habitat for Greater sage-grouse by reducing sagebrush cover, creating open areas and increasing forbs and grasses,” Kramer claimed. “The treatments will also benefit big game species such as antelope and mule deer, as well as improving the forage base for livestock that use the area on a seasonal basis.” Each year, the treatments are expected to take three to four weeks to, Kramer said.
Kramer explained that once the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation for the project is approved and signed, funding will be allocated on an annual basis for this long-term project. “The funding is coming from the BLM fuels program and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department,” he said.
“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and private contractors would implement the mechanical treatments,” said Kramer.
For more information about the proposed vegetation treatment project in Government Draw, please contact Tim Kramer at (307) 332-8431 or Sue Oberlie, wildlife biologist at (307) 332-8418.