News.bytes EXTRA - issue 161

Junipers in the wrong place?

Members of the California-Pacific section of the Society for Range Management got a first hand look at the effects of juniper enroachment on sagebrush-steppe ecosystems, when they held a section meeting in Alturas Thursday and Friday, June 3 and 4.

About 60 members of the organization joined BLM Alturas Field Manager Tim Burke to tour juniper woodlands and to learn about development of a management strategy to thin heavy juniper stands and restore the diversity of vegetation.

The BLM is working with the Modoc National Forest, Modoc County, the North Cal-Neva Resource Conservation and Development District to develop the management strategy and an environmental impact statement. In all, nearly 20 partners are involved in the strategy.

In addition to improving wildlife habitat and conditions on livestock grazing allotments, juniper thinning can provide fuel for biomass power generation and material for local industries that create products from juniper wood.

Above: Alturas Field Manager Tim Burke explains the effects of juniper shearing and chipping tests in a cleared portion of a thick juniper woodland south of Alturas. Members of the California-Pacific section of the Society for Range Management attended the tour.

Below: Modoc County Farm Advisor Don Lancaster describes how prescribed fire was used to control juniper and improve conditions. Work was undertaken as part of the Cedar Creek Watershed Improvement Project that began in 1990.

Below: SRM members on the field tour saw a reach of Cedar Creek that is responding to treatements undertaken as part of a watershed improvement project. Grasses and willows are beginning to heal eroded creek banks:

News.bytes, issue 161

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