BLM restores eastern Nevada public lands

ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management is restoring watershed health and improving wildlife habitat while reducing fuel loading on more than 2,000 acres of agency-administered lands in eastern Nevada.

The BLM’s Ely District in November aerially seeded 2,120 acres of the public lands at Patterson Pass and Gouge Eye in Cave and southern Lake valleys, about 65 miles south of Ely. The district seeded 570 acres at Patterson Pass and 1,550 acres at Gouge Eye.

The seedings are part of a pinion-pine and juniper tree-thinning treatment utilizing the “Ely chain,” an approximately 200-foot anchor chain with railroad iron welded perpendicular to the links that is pulled between two pieces of heavy equipment. The chain rolls over the ground, knocking down encroaching vegetation and breaking up the soil surface to prepare the seed bed. After the seed is applied, a second pass in the opposite direction ensures the seed is buried.

“Our goal is to improve understory grass and shrub diversity, which provides forage for wildlife, as well as create a fuels break to slow the spread of a potential wildfire,” Cody Coombs, Supervisory Natural Resources Specialist and Program Manager, said.

The treated acres are part of the larger Cave and Lake Valleys Watershed Restoration Project, a multi-year project that will treat up to 121,600 acres of the 583,800-plus acre watersheds. Learn more about the landscape-scale project at

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Bristlecone Field Office


Chris Hanefeld