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High Desert District
Release Date: 04/23/14
Contacts: Shelley Gregory    

BLM High Desert District Plans Prescribed Fires

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) High Desert District plans to conduct several prescribed fires this spring contingent upon fuel moisture and weather meeting optimal burn conditions.

The prescribed fires are designed to enhance rangeland and woodland vegetation health, improve wildlife habitat, increase livestock forage and distribution and reduce hazardous fuels by targeting stands of sagebrush, mountain shrubs, aspen and conifers. Burning the shrubs and trees also opens up the areas for grasses and forbs and new, more palatable and nutritious shrubs and aspen. Burning vegetation beneath ponderosa pine stands removes encroaching, competing species and clears the area of heavy fuels, which improves the overall health of the forest. The planned burns include:

Smith Mountain: Slightly over 800 acres of mixed mountain shrubs and encroaching conifers, including bitterbrush and sagebrush, within the 1,200 acre project area of public and private lands 40 miles west of Wheatland, Wyo.

Prospect Mountain: Roughly 350 acres of mixed mountain shrubs and aspen stands in mule deer and elk transitional ranges along the edge of the Medicine Bow National Forest north of the Wyoming and Colorado state line and southeast of Riverside, Wyo. This is a continuation of a prescribed burn which began in 2008 to improve forage production and seasonal wildlife habitat by removing dense, decadent shrubs and replacing them with new grasses, forbs and mountain shrubs, thus increasing the shrub mosaic and edge habitat.

Cherry Creek: Approximately 250 acres of slash fuels left from mechanical treatment of encroaching conifers within aspen and willow riparian areas on the northwest slope of Ferris Mountain, 40 miles north of Rawlins, Wyo. The treatment is designed to encourage aspen and other riparian vegetation within the target drainages.

Partners in the treatments include private landowners, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service.

Spring bear hunters and other recreationists are cautioned to avoid these areas during prescribed fire operations.

For more information, please contact Fuels Specialist Chris Otto at 307-328-4250.

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.

High Desert District   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs, WY 82901  

Last updated: 04-23-2014