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Riparian and wetland areas are very productive and valuable parts of the ecosystem. Riparian areas exhibit vegetation or physical characteristics reflective of permanent surface or subsurface water influence. Typical riparian areas are lands along perennially and intermittently flowing rivers, streams, and shores of lakes and reservoirs with stable water levels. Excluded are ephemeral streams or washes that do not exhibit vegetation dependent on free water in the soil.
Wetlands are areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support and which, under normal circumstances, do support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include marshes, swamps, lakeshores, sloughs, bogs, wet meadows, estuaries, and some riparian areas.
BLM-NV supports and is a member of the Nevada Creeks and Communities Team. The Creeks and Communities Strategy represents an innovative and adaptive approach aimed at building the capacity of land managers and stakeholders to address complex and often contentious issues inherent in managing riparian-wetland resources. The Nevada Team is comprised of a group of interested stakeholders from Federal and State agencies, University researchers, and interested publics committed to improving riparian management across the State. The Team works in collaboration with the BLM and other stakeholders to identify riparian management techniques to address specific issues on public lands in Nevada, provides technical assistance and information to parties interested in riparian management strategies, provides training and workshops to enhance the knowledge of professional staff from the university, the state, and the federal agencies to make better riparian area management decisions.
Current work within BLM-NV’s riparian program includes active riparian restoration projects, construction and maintenance of riparian exclosures, monitoring and assessing riparian condition, training specialists in techniques to improve riparian management.
The Elko District is working with the Squaw Valley Ranch to document changes in stream and riparian habitat conditions on the Squaw Valley Allotment in response to application of prescriptive grazing practices. The Squaw Valley Ranch is located in Northeastern Nevada and encompasses almost 260,000 acres of public and private lands. The allotment supports Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, a federally listed threatened species as well as some of the most important Sage-Grouse habitat on the district.
Since 2004, the ranch has been applying prescriptive grazing practices in cooperation with BLM and other partners to improve priority habitats for fish and other species of wildlife. To document the success of the grazing program, BLM is working with the Ranch to quantify changes at a landscape level and over time.