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Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office
Release Date: 03/14/11
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

BLM Plans Prescribed Burns Throughout Bighorn Basin

The Worland and Cody Field Offices of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan to conduct prescribed burns and mechanical vegetation treatments at various locations in the Bighorn Basin this spring.

Small prescribed burns will be conducted east of Shell and north of Hwy. 14/16/20, on Little Mountain east of Lovell and north of Ten Sleep along the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, and on the north fork of the Shoshone River west of Cody.

Currently underway are a number of mechanical vegetation treatments throughout the basin. The projects include aspen enhancement, juniper thinning and Russian olive and salt cedar removal. Funding for these projects comes from a variety of public and private sources.

Prescribed burns create a mosaic of burned and unburned areas which improves wildlife habitat and increases forage production for livestock. Burns can reduce the hazardous build-up of fuels which lessens the probability of a severe wildfire, remove slash from mechanical vegetation treatments and stop the conversion of productive grasslands into pine and juniper woodlands.

"In addition, sage-grouse will benefit from these prescribed juniper burns and mechanical treatments," said Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Ecologist Rance Neighbors. "The mosaic of small treatment patches in larger sagebrush areas and juniper removal improve nesting and early and late brood rearing habitat for sage-grouse."

For more information, or to participate in the planning of prescribed burns and vegetation projects for 2012 and 2013, contact Neighbors in the Worland Field Office at 307-347-5100 or Supervisory Range and Fuels Specialist Jack Mononi in the Cody Field Office at 307-578-5900. For more information on prescribed burning and vegetation management on public lands, visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM'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. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office   101 South 23rd      Worland, WY 82401  

Last updated: 03-15-2011