BLM controlled burns improve wildlife habitat in Mono County

BLM Office:

Bishop Field Office


Central California DO

Media Contact:

A pile of brush in the snow.

LEE VINING, Calif. —Wildland fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, in coordination with interagency partners, plan to improve wildlife habitat for sage grouse and migratory mule deer by burning piles on roughly 230 acres of public land near Lee Vining in Mono County. Pile burning will start as soon as feasible, and continue periodically until spring, depending on weather and air quality conditions, onsite observations and resource availability. During burn operations, smoke may be visible from Lee Vining, Mono City, Conway Ranch Estates, Conway Summit, June Mountain, Bridgeport and U.S. Highway 395.

These controlled burns are part of a larger strategy to improve sagebrush habitat. Trees have been cut and piled in historically open sagebrush areas to increase ecosystem resiliency and restore habitat for several species. Piles of trees, limbs and branches will be burned on up to 30 acres of public land in the Bridgeport Canyon area north of Mono Lake and on up to 200 acres in the Sagehen Summit area southeast of Mono Lake. Prescribed burning is done in the winter months to take advantage of cooler temperatures and higher moisture levels to reduce hazardous fuels, moderate wildland fire intensity and increase firefighter and public safety.

The public is reminded to avoid congregating on or near roadways to observe operations, which can obstruct fire equipment and emergency vehicles. All prescribed fire operations are conducted in close coordination with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.

The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive. Updates will be provided by BLM using the #RxBurn through its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, please call Heather Stone at the BLM Bishop Field Office at 760-872-5000.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.