The Fort Sage Mountains, and their highest point, Stateline Peak, have intrigued me for a while. Stateline Peak straddles the Nevada/California, and likewise the mountains form a Granite barrier between the northern Sierra front heading toward Susanville and the desert mountains spreading eastward toward Pyramid Lake and the Smoke Creek Desert. Driving north on 395 right before Doyle, California there are good views of the peak, but I climbed from the far side, starting in the Fish Springs Valley. When I made it out this fall, unfortunately, they had burned in the recent wildfire so it was a bit of a different hike, but grass was already growing back there were hints of green and yellow dotting the black. The summit had not burned over and it had snowed the night before, making it the first snow that encountered of the 2017-2018 winter. Hopefully a sign of much more to come!
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program is hosting the second annual Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Conference, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 9 in Reno. Attendees will learn about the progress of The Network, as well as hear firsthand accounts of the emotional and financial costs of recent wildfires from several speakers, including Carlene Anders, a volunteer firefighter, and North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District’s Fire Chief Mike Brown, who served as incident commander on several large fires in the area.
Learn more here: http://www.unce.unr.edu/news/article.asp?ID=2158
From Nevada Today:
Four remote mountain peaks in central and northeastern Nevada are home to a new real-time camera fire-detection system that is helping to protect Nevada's forests and rangelands.
A Bureau of Land Management Nevada grant awarded to the University of Nevada, Reno to develop, install, and maintain a remote camera system, is in the initial phase of a five-year planned comprehensive network to cover vast areas of the state for early fire detection and response.
"BLM Nevada is excited to partner with the University to assist us in the protection of public lands," Paul Petersen, acting State fire management officer for the BLM, said. "These cameras provide fire management personnel in detection and situational awareness. For instance, they can be positioned during lightning storms to detect potential ignitions. These are our first steps in building a cutting-edge camera network to protect and conserve forest and sagebrush ecosystems and reduce invasive species that spread after wildland fires."
Soon after being installed, using the camera system's near-infrared detection capability, the camera on Midas Peak spotted a large lightning-strike fire 104 miles away near Jordan Valley, Oregon. Shortly thereafter, the BLM and their firefighting partners responded to another fire north of Interstate 80 between Winnemucca and Elko. The Midas Peak camera provided valuable information for BLM's incident command center in responding to that fire as well.
Learn more here: http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2015/blm-unr-fire-spotting-camera-system-installed-on-great-basin-mountain-peaks
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) would like to remind the community to be aware of the increased chance of wildfire due to dry conditions resulting from the four prolonged years of drought and recent warmer temperatures.
“We encourage the public to be careful in regards to human-caused fires and take appropriate steps to prevent them,” said Shane McDonald, Interagency Fire Management Officer. “In situations such as the anticipated high wind days, firefighting agencies rely heavily upon the public to make sensible decisions in regards to fire on public and private land.”
The following precautions should be taken:
McDonald stated, “Agencies will be closely monitoring conditions as they evaluate the need for fire restrictions.”
In 2015, there have been six human caused fires with approximately 180 acres burned on public lands managed by the BLM and USFS.
For more information contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107.
Las Vegas, NV. – The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF) Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) joined other southern Nevada federal, state, and county land managers in announcing the implementation of fire restrictions beginning Thursday, May 14 at 12:01 a.m. and lasting until further notice.
The fire restrictions are intended to enhance public safety. The interagency order prohibits building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stovefire; smoking outside an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped within a vegetation-free area at least three feet in diameter; welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame; and using explosives.
People are allowed to use portable stoves that heat with gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel. Campfires within approved fire pits or grills within developed recreation sites are also permitted.
“Drought conditions mean the vegetation is already tinder-dry. Increasing daytime temperatures will soon dry out trees and plants even further,” said SMNRA Fire Management Officer Ron Bollier. “We ask people to be especially careful when enjoying a visit to their public lands.”
The fire restriction order, including a map, is located on the HTNF Web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/htnf/.
From the DOI:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced more than $4 million in projects the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will implement to reduce the threat of rangeland fire and protect sagebrush habitat in the Great Basin region. The projects in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon will support the Interior Department’s science-based strategy to address the more frequent and intense wildfires that are damaging sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands.
“This funding will launch a number of projects that are ready to begin as we approach a potentially active 2015 wildfire season in the Great Basin, where a good portion of the remaining sage-steppe exists,” said Secretary Jewell. “Every task we complete puts us closer to conserving the sage-grouse, sage-steppe, and western rangelands that depend on these resources. These projects will not only improve rangeland health, but also help mitigate the risks to local economies that depend on healthy lands.”
The funding is part of the BLM’s newly-established Fire and Invasives Assessment Tool (FIAT) program dedicated to identifying BLM projects on federal land that can address threats from wildfires, invasive annual grasses, and conifer encroachment to sage-grouse and sagebrush steppe landscapes in the Great Basin region.
“The BLM is targeting our existing resources to address the biggest threats to the West’s most productive sage-grouse habitat,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “By strategically focusing our fire prevention and restoration efforts, we are laying the foundation for long-term conservation of the healthy rangelands that help define and sustain the West and its people.”
Learn more here: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/secretary-jewell-announces-over-4-million-dollars-to-protect-sagebrush-lands-threatened-by-rangeland-fire.cfm
SAFFORD, Ariz. - The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Safford Field Office and Gila District Fire Management Office will conduct a one-day prescribed burn on the south rim of Aravaipa Canyon between May 1 and June 30, pending appropriate weather conditions. The Grover Burn will cover approximately 2,430 acres of BLM land near Klondyke, south of the Aravaipa Canyon and east of Turkey Creek. The BLM will announce specific dates in advance of the operation.
Visitors with valid permits for the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area east trailhead will be provided access. Some area roads will be temporarily closed to other users to allow for fire operations.
Prescribed fires are intended to mimic natural fire frequency and intensity. It promotes the health of the ecosystem by enhancing growth of desirable grasses, reducing invasive shrub species and managing fuel loads so that natural fires are less destructive.
“Prescribed fire treatments are part of a BLM effort to restore, enhance, and, maintain the native desert grassland ecosystem found on the uplands of Aravaipa Canyon,” said Safford Field Office Manager Scott Cooke.
Aravaipa Canyon area roads listed below will be closed from 6 p.m. the day before the burn to 6 a.m. the day after the burn is completed.
Specific road closures:
Federal, State, and local cooperators will assist the BLM in conducting the burn. Fire crews will monitor the burned area during and after all prescribed burns. Prescribed burn information will be available the day of the burn at the Klondyke Ranger Station. For more information, contact Public Affairs Specialist Adam Milnor 520-258-7223.
Carson City, NV; April 6, 2015 –This week sheep will begin grazing cheatgrass on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Carson Ranger District to help create a fuelbreak along the wildland-urban interface on the west side of Carson City.
The grazing will occur until the end of the cheatgrass growing season on National Forest System lands just west of Reno, Nevada, in and around Thomas Creek and Whites Creek within the Arrowhawk Fuels Reduction Project.
“Cheatgrass has the potential to completely alter the ecosystem it invades, which alters fire regimes. Taking a proactive approach to removing excess non-native vegetation using sheep will reduce catastrophic wildland fire hazard in the area, which is especially critical given ongoing drought conditions,” said Carson District Ranger Irene Davidson.
Borda Land and Sheep Company of Gardnerville, Nevada, are providing approximately 800 ewes that two herders and their dogs will monitor. The Nevada Division of Forestry will provide water at predetermined locations. The sheep will be removed once the cheatgrass has begun to cure (turn purple).
Those visiting the area are asked to keep their dogs leashed at all times. Livestock guard dogs present with the sheep instinctively protect the herd from any form of predator seen as a threat.
For more information on the project, contact Carson Ranger District Fuels Specialist Steve Howell at 775- 884-8114.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released the first of two reports developed by the Rangeland Fire Task Force. This initial report includes actions to be implemented by Interior’s bureaus to immediately address the threat of rangeland fire to Western sagebrush-steppe landscapes and improve fire management efforts before the start of the 2015 wildfire season.
“Cheatgrass and other invasive species have contributed to making rangeland fire one of the greatest threats in the Great Basin – not only to sagebrush habitat, but to wildlife, ranching, and other economic activities that depend on a healthy landscape,” Secretary Jewell said. “As we head into the 2015 fire season, the actions recommended in this report will help ensure that our preparedness, response and recovery strategies better align with the threats facing the West.”
Secretarial Order 3336, signed by Secretary Jewell on January 5, 2015, called for the development of a comprehensive, science-based strategy to reduce the size, severity and cost of rangeland fires; address the spread of cheatgrass and other invasive species; and position wildland fire management resources for more effective rangeland fire response. The Order called for the creation of an implementation plan, initial report, and final report. The Implementation Plan, completed on January 31, 2015, established a roadmap to accomplish the objectives of the Order. This initial report released today outlines actions and activities that the Department, in collaboration with partners and interested stakeholders, can take prior to the onset of the 2015 Western wildfire season. The goal is to protect, restore and conserve vital sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands, particularly in the Great Basin region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.
Many of the recommendations in the initial report draw on the comments received and the ideas generated by the November 2014 conference, “The Next Steppe: Sage-grouse and Rangeland Fire in the Great Basin.” The increasing frequency and intensity of rangeland fire in Great Basin sagebrush ecosystems significantly damaged the landscapes relied on by many tribal and local communities, ranchers, livestock managers, sportsmen, and outdoor enthusiasts. The unnatural fire cycle puts at risk the landscapes that, for generations, Westerners have depended on to sustain their ways of life.
Read the full press release here: Secretary Jewell Issues Strategy to Protect, Restore Sagebrush Lands for 2015 Fire Season
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The Basin and Range Project
We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
We currently focus primarily on issues in the Nevada region of the Basin and Range, but are looking to expand soon.