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June 12, 2008

    Bruce Collins, 307-328-4329

BLM Plans Juniper Thinning Project as Part of 
Mule Deer Habitat Improvement

Cedar Ridge 
Scoping Notice
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lander Field Office is proposing to treat approximately 516 acres of juniper and limber pine woodland in the vicinity of the Derby Dome oilfield and Cedar Ridge approximately 12 miles southeast of Lander, Wyo. The proposed project area is located on the toe slopes of the eastern side of Cedar Ridge, more specifically in portions of Sections 17,18,20,28,33, and 34 of Township 32 N. and Range 98 W and on the rolling hills southeast of Derby Dome, to include portions of Sections 3,4,9, and 10 of Township 31N Range 98W. The project would be implemented on lands administered by the BLM.

The area consists of seedling, sapling, and vigorous mature sized juniper and limber pine trees that have expanded into productive shrub land areas in the absence of fire, according to BLM natural resource specialist Tim Kramer. “The density of the existing junipers and limber pines is currently around 360 live tree stems to the acre,” he said.

“Within the proposed project perimeters, about 90% of the existing live conifers would be cut and mulched using tracked machinery,” Kramer said. “This treatment would be conducted by contractors employed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department during the summer and fall months of 2008,” he added.

The project’s objectives are: 1) Removing younger age class juniper and limber pine from productive shrub land habitat, 2) Reducing hazardous natural fuels loading in shrub land areas with high density of junipers, and 3) improving wildlife habitat by promoting the transition of existing dense, young age class juniper and limber pine stands back to a shrub and associated herbaceous species dominated site.

“While juniper woodlands are important to an assortment of wildlife species, the loss of productive shrub lands adjacent to these woodland sites reduces the habitat diversity across the range where mule deer live,” Kramer explained. “Removing these young age class juniper and limber pine stands will enhance wildlife habitat characteristics and promote shrub and herbaceous species growth,” he said.

Please contact Tim Kramer of the Lander Field Office at (307)332-8431 or Tim_Kramer@blm.gov if you have concerns about the project or would like to participate in the project planning. Although comments are welcome at any time, they will be best used in this planning effort if submitted by June 20, 2008.

- BLM -