Mendocino County Blacktail Association begins habitat improvement project on BLM managed public lands


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Image of blacktail deer iin brush.COVELO, Calif. – The Mendocino County Blacktail Association, a wildlife habitat conservation group, has begun work to improve conditions for blacktail deer on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management near Covelo, in Mendocino County.

The Mendocino County work is an expansion of an ongoing project involving MCBA and the BLM Arcata Field Office. The project began in the King Range National Conservation Area and is now moving onto Eel River watershed public lands where deer forage quality has declined and is less palatable for deer.

Project workers will “top,” or cut off the upper portions of chemise, manzanita and other shrubs to stimulate new growth more beneficial to deer. The project aims to complete work on 200 acres by the end of this year and up to 500 acres per year for the duration of the 10-year project.

“We are proud that this partnership is contributing to the improvement and sustainability of the Eel River Watershed and habitat improvement,” said BLM Arcata Field Manager Molly Brown. “It is great to work with partners that are so enthusiastic about restoration of wildlife habitat.”

Chemise Knob, a Middle Fork Eel River access point off state Route 162, is the first Mendocino County treatment area. Future project sites are known locally at Willis Ridge, Brushy Mountain Timbered Ridge and Dingman Ridge.

The BLM analyzed the project in an environmental assessment completed earlier this year.

The MCBA is a citizen group dedicated to improving the habitat for blacktail deer. They hold fundraising events and apply for grants to complete projects on publicly accessible land where its membership enjoys the great outdoors.

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.