March 7, 2008
Lesley A. Collins,
Casper Field Office Plans The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning and cooperating in several prescribed burns within Natrona, Converse, and Platte counties. Burning could begin as soon as March 15th and continue throughout the summer and fall as conditions permit.
- Muddy Mountain Forest Health – Treat approximately 30 acres of slash piles and debris created from forest health management activities in the Muddy Mountain Environmental Education Area south of Casper. The goals of this project are to improve the health and age class diversity of aspen woodlands and lodgepole pine communities as well as reduce hazardous fuel loadings adjacent to developed recreational sites.
- Sand Draw – Continue this project started last fall, with treatment of approximately 450 additional acres of big sagebrush-grassland and true mountain mahogany communities about 30 miles south of Casper. The goals of this prescribed fire are to improve big game habitat on crucial winter ranges, increase long-term habitat diversification for sagebrush obligate wildlife species, and improve forage base for livestock.
- Bathtub Springs - Treat 300-700 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. The goals are to improve big game habitat, foster riparian/wetland area recovery, improve forest health in aspen woodlands and associated big sagebrush-grassland communities, and improve forage base for livestock.
- Bates Creek Watershed Restoration – Treat approximately 150 acres of big sagebrush grassland and aspen woodlands approximately 35 miles south of Casper within Bates Hole on the Ice Cave Mountain grazing allotment. This project is designed to improve the health of aspen woodlands and associated sagebrush communities and improve wildlife habitat.
- Esterbrook – Treat approximately 30 acres of activity fuels located west of the community of Esterbrook. The objectives of the prescribed fire are to improve fuel breaks adjacent to private property and promote forest health.
- Cedar Draw Phase II (JY Ranch) – Treat 500-700 acres of true mountain mahogany shrublands with prescribed fire approximately 20 miles southwest of Wheatland within the Mule Creek grazing allotment. The primary goals of this project are to improve forage in big game crucial winter ranges, increase diversity within mountain shrub communities, improve livestock grazing distribution, improve habitat diversity for other wildlife species (i.e. small game, upland game birds, etc.), and reduce hazardous fuels to lessen potential wildfire severity.
All prescribed burn projects will be conducted in accordance with approved burn plans when favorable weather, smoke, and fuel conditions permit. For more information, please contact Kristi Bulock, George Soehn, or Cindy Allen at 307-261-7600.