Carson City, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, American Forests, Nevada Conservation Corps, and Alpine County are partnering to rehabilitate the Airport Fire area by planting trees starting Tue., March 10 and concluding on Sun., March 15, 2015. This fire burned 81 acres of BLM and Alpine County land during the 2011 fire season and is located near the Indian Creek Recreation Area and the Alpine County Airport along Airport Road.
The planting of 25,000 Jeffrey pine seedlings will be completed by a Nevada Conservation Corp (NCC) crew and is expected to take two weeks, weather permitting. These crew members are AmeriCorps volunteers engaged in national service to earn money for student loans or future coursework. For many of these volunteers, this will be their first large scale reforestation project.
In fall 2011, the BLM and Alpine County developed an agreement which allowed for consistent reforestation of the fire area across the two ownerships. The BLM will use federal funds to plant 30 acres of BLM-managed land, while the planting of the Alpine County portion of the fire (51 acres) will be funded from a Global ReLeaf grant from American Forests.
American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and is a strong advocate for the protection and expansion of America’s forests. Since 1990, they have planted more than 43 million trees. The Global ReLeaf program selects lands where additional funding can help create a new forest that would not be possible under existing programs and budgets.
This unique project leverages funds and partners to insure the reforestation of this highly visible, economically important, and ecologically challenging site. An interpretive sign will be installed at the site this summer describing the efforts between these partners in creating this future forest for all to enjoy.
The public is invited to assist with the planting and/or the installation of protective mats around each seedling on March 13 and 14, starting at 10:00 am. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Coreen Francis, District Forester, at 775-885-6161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2013 Spring Peak Fire burned nearly 14,230 acres of crucial wildlife habitat. A majority of the area burned is designated as Preliminary Priority Habitat for sage-grouse. This habitat represented high quality sage-grouse and winter mule deer habitat with a majority consisting of productive sagebrush, bitterbrush, and perennial grass cover.
"The fire removed the brush forcing sage-grouse to look elsewhere for suitable habitat. It also set back crucial winter range for the mule deer in that area," said Mark Freese, Habitat Biologist for the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). In an effort to help restore the area, volunteers and agency staff from NDOW, United States Forest Service (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management took to the hills to manually plant as many sagebrush seedlings as possible. For two cold and windy days in November, 45 men and women planted more than 6,000 sagebrush seedlings by hand.
"The best way to manually plant a sagebrush seedling is with a gas powered auger and planting each sagebrush seedling by hand. This is a very time consuming and tedious process, but everyone recognized how important this project was and they got the job done," said Aaron Keller, Western Region Wildlife Outdoor Educator and volunteer coordinator for this project.
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The success of the pilot program for fire cameras at Lake Tahoe has prompted the University of Nevada, Reno's Nevada Seismological Laboratory to pursue funding to build out its fire camera network that rings the majestic mile-high lake.
"We've seen the system avert potentially large fires this summer at Tahoe, even with its minimal presence," Graham Kent, director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, said of the prototype system with its four cameras. "It makes sense to build this system out now to help protect the basin from devastating fires."
The Nevada Seismological Laboratory is launching the AlertTAHOE campaign to raise $2 million in private donations to place additional cameras, the associated telemetry infrastructure and a user friendly web portal at 15 more locations. The equipment will be available for use by emergency response personnel and viewing by the interested public.
The fire-camera system project will be funded through private and public money, and built on the backbone of the Seismological Lab's earthquake monitoring network, which features private high-speed internet connectivity capable of transmitting seismic, environmental and climate data in addition to the live streaming high definition cameras.
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Las Vegas -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Red Rock/Sloan Field Office has issued a five-year temporary closure for a portion of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA) due to Carpenter 1 Wildland Fire.
In July 2013, the Carpenter 1 Fire burned approximately 27,881 acres in the Mt. Charleston Area outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The majority of the fire (26,939 acres) occurred on the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area of the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest, with the balance of the burn occurring on the Red Rock Canyon NCA, Southern Nevada District (853 acres), and private land (89 acres).
In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), and the Clark County Department of Public Works, the BLM is enacting a temporary area closure to the public of 5,683.37 acres in the Red Rock Canyon. This temporary closure includes closing Harris Springs Road to the general public, beginning at the intersection of State Route 157 and proceeding westward for five miles to the USFS boundary.
The five-year time frame for the temporary closure is due to the extent of the fire damage and consequent time and resources needed for area stabilization and rehabilitation, and matches the USFS closure for the area. The size of the temporary closure is due to heavy rains, flooding, washouts, soil loss, and debris flow that have occurred after the fire, generating more extensive damage to the burned and adjoining unburned areas. The closure is also needed to help address public safety and adjoining private property due to the potential for future downstream flooding from loss of vegetation and top soil until the area is stabilized and rehabilitated.
Post-fire efforts proposed by the BLM over the five-year period will optimize stabilization of soils and rehabilitation. The BLM Nevada Post-Fire Recovery Plan, Emergency Stabilization and Burned Area Rehabilitation (September 2013) identifies emergency stabilization and burned area issues that will be addressed by a number of treatments and monitoring actions during the closure period. The BLM will coordinate stabilization and rehabilitation efforts with the USFS, NDOW, and Clark County. The decision, supporting documents and a map of the closure area may be viewed on-line at: https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/projectSummary.do?methodName=renderDefaultProjectSummary&projectId=37606. Information is also available at the Southern Nevada District Office.
Please contact Lauren Brown, Weeds Management Specialist and ESR Coordinator, 702-515-5295, e-mail: email@example.com for additional information.
Funding to continue teaching homeowners and communities about living safely in wildfire-prone areas
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program received $495,000 from the Nevada Bureau of Land Management to continue and enhance the current success of the program.
"Living With Fire provides good services to the state and nationally with prevention and materials for defensible space," Rex McKnight, state fire management officer with the Bureau, said. "We’ve been partners since Living With Fire started, and this grant is to continue support for the program."
The "Living With Fire Campaign: 2013-2018" is the second five-year grant the Living With Fire Program has received from the Bureau.
"The Bureau of Land Management has been an outstanding partner with us in helping Nevadans reduce the threat of wildfires to communities," said Ed Smith, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension natural resources specialist. "Living With Fire probably wouldn’t have existed without their support."
Living With Fire is a collaborative effort founded in 1997 and directed by Smith and Co-Manager and Marketing Director Sonya Sistare, to teach homeowners how to live more safely in Nevada’s high wildfire-hazard environments. In 2013 alone, Living With Fire reached nearly 14,700 people through presentations, events and activities, and at least 19 other states use materials produced by the program.
For more information about Living With Fire, visit www.LivingWithFire.info.
BLM, Forest Service, NDF, BI and USFWS Lifting Western Nevada Fire Restrictions on Tuesday, 9/2/2014
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District Office, the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (USFS), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) announce the lifting of fire restrictions that have been in place since May 30, 2014. Restrictions will expire at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday morning, September 2, 2014.
Campfires still require a campfire permit on the Carson & Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Also, Carson Ranger District will end “Hoot Owl” firewood cutting restrictions for all of its woodcutting areas.
"Decreasing daily sunlight, increasing fuel moisture levels, and cooler evening temperatures are allowing us to lift fire restrictions," note the agency Fire Management Officers. "However, the potential threat for wildfires remains, so we encourage the public to continue enjoying their federal, state, and private lands responsibly by being very careful with any fire.”
“Due to the amount of moisture received this summer there has been a renewed growing season,” said Shane McDonald, Interagency Fire Management Officer. “We ask that as the new crop of grass begins to dry, the land users will be mindful of the potential increased risk of wildfire.”
Recreationists are reminded to be fire safe with all their outdoor activities, including insuring that campfires are dead out. Leaving campfires unattended is a class B misdemeanor. Other important reminders for all outdoor enthusiasts include the following:
New high definition fire cameras are scanning the mountains and shoreline, while University of Nevada, Reno researchers are discovering new animal species at the bottom of Lake Tahoe and working with colleagues at the Desert Research Institute to document the dramatic decline of other bottom dwelling species and nearshore water quality.
As the annual Lake Tahoe Summit brings attention to the state of the lake's environment, researchers at the University and the Desert Research Institute say there has been significant progress on protecting the pristine lake, though there is much work to be done. From the mountaintops to the lake bottom, Nevada researchers are continuing research that informs public policy makers and finds solutions to the risks that face the lake's precious ecosystem.
"The fire cameras, and especially the internet backbone and network that supports it, are a valuable tool for fire officials and Tahoe researchers who are studying the lake's environment," Graham Kent, director of the University of Nevada, Reno's Nevada Seismological Laboratory, said.
The four mountaintop observatories at Lake Tahoe host remote sensing equipment that transmit seismic, environmental and climate data through the Nevada Seismological Laboratory's statewide seismic network. The first 360-degree camera installed on the system tracked the Bison fire last year, and three others now scan the basin and surrounding forests for wildfires.
Learn more here: http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2014/lake-tahoe-research
Regional Forester Nora Rasure today announced restrictions on the use of explosives and exploding targets on National Forests and Grasslands within the Intermountain Region of the Forest Service.
“This closure order is necessary to protect the health and safety of users of the National Forest and Grasslands within the Intermountain Region,” said Regional Forester Rasure.
Explosives and exploding targets are designed to explode when shot with a rifle; the resulting explosions have been known to cause wildfires when conditions are right.
The closure order includes National Forest System lands in the states of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming administered within the Intermountain Region as National Forests (NF), including: Ashley NF, Dixie NF, Fishlake NF, Manti-La Sal NF, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF, Boise, NF, Caribou-Targhee NF, Payette NF, Salmon-Challis NF, Sawtooth NF, Bridger-Teton NF, and Humboldt-Toiyabe NF.
The closure order will be in effect for one year, from July 23, 2014 until July 22, 2015. [ACCESS ORDER]
Questions and Answers
Question: Have fires in the Intermountain Region been started by exploding targets?
Answer: Use of exploding targets is a documented cause of wildfires in western states.
Question: How does the Forest Service know it was exploding targets that started these fires (for those fires on USFS lands)?
Answer: Evidence left at the point of origin, and in some cases witness testimony revealed that exploding targets started the fire(s).
Question: You can produce the same effect as exploding targets with black powder, which is just as commercially available as exploding targets. Is it legal to shoot black powder? If so, doesn’t it run the same risk of starting a fire?
Answer: It is not illegal to shoot black powder rifles in the national forests under the Order; however it is illegal to shoot at targets made from black powder or any type of exploding target device.
Question: What are other Forest Service Regions doing?
Answer: Several Regions, including the Northern Region and the Rocky Mountain Region, currently have an exploding target prohibition in effect and those who are experiencing wildfires and safety risks may also implement the same prohibition.
Question: Some pro-firearm individuals would believe that this infringes on their right to shoot in the Forest. What is your response?
Answer: The Forest Service fully recognizes hunting and safe target shooting as a valid use of national forest system lands. The prohibition of exploding targets is not intended to adversely affect the sport of target shooting.
Question: Can these targets be used on BLM land?
Answer: As the use of exploding targets may vary by state, this question is best addressed to the different State Offices of the Bureau of Land Management.
Question: Exploding targets have been on the market for a number of years and have posed these safety risks, why are you just now prohibiting them?
Answer: It hasn’t been until recently that we have identified the cause of the fires to be exploding targets for several reasons. Investigators were not familiar with evidence associated with the use and fire starting potential of these targets. This coupled with the lack of witnesses available at the scene and much of the evidence sometimes is destroyed by the fire. With the increase in popularity and use of these types of targets, we have gained the experience and increased knowledge about how to identify the evidence associated with their use at the scene.
Question: If exploding targets cannot be used on the national forest, where can they be used?
Answer: Users will need to check with the applicable local, state or federal agencies to see if exploding targets are prohibited in other areas.
As an integral part of its collaborative efforts with the states and other federal agencies to conserve sage grouse habitat and that of more than 350 other wildlife species including mule deer and pronghorn antelope who share habitat, the Bureau of Land Management announced today that it is making sage grouse habitat protection a high natural resource priority, focusing its hazardous fuels program on areas where fire management for sage-grouse habitat protection is most critical. These areas are primarily located in priority habitat in the Great Basin states with the highest probability of wildfire occurrence.
Earlier this week, lightning storms passing through Oregon and Central Idaho ignited multiple fires, several of which are burning sage grouse habitat areas. As of this morning, the Buzzard Fire in Eastern Oregon is estimated to have burned 300,000 acres, of which, at least in part, is Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. The Twin Fire and the Lamb Fire also are burning in Greater Sage-Grouse habitat areas. Nearby in the Vale District, the Saddle Fire is likely affecting Greater Sage-Grouse habitat as well.
“This week’s fires in the West highlight the fact that wildfire is a significant threat to a healthy and sustainable sage-grouse habitat,” BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis said. “After firefighter and public safety, the BLM will focus its fire program on protecting, preserving and enhancing sage grouse habitat.”
The management of fire and hazardous fuels in protecting and enhancing sage brush habitat is one of the factors the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will consider in deciding whether the Greater Sage-Grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. By protecting and enhancing this habitat, the BLM is also supporting other populations of sage grouse, including the Gunnison Sage Grouse, Bi-State Sage Grouse, and Columbia Basin distinct population sub-groups of the bird.
As part of this process, the BLM will also take a number of preventative actions, including creating fuel breaks to limit the spread of fires; coordinating locally to reduce fuel loads and wildfire starts along travel corridors; pre-positioning firefighting resources to quickly respond to one or multiple fires; and expanding the training and use of Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, Rural Fire Departments and other local, non-federal agency individuals as liaisons in wildland fire detection and suppression operations. Funding will support the planning and implementation of fuels treatments in order to reduce the start and spread of wildfires in sage grouse habitat. At the same time, the BLM will continue to provide a robust hazardous fuels program across the West.
President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget also includes a request for $30 million for the Resilient Landscapes Initiative. Some of these funds may be used to supplement hazardous fuels project work within the BLM.
Further details about the proposal are available in WO-IM-2014-114, Sage-Grouse Habitat and Wildland Fire Management.
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced today a $24,750 grant for the Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue Service which will help increase the Fire Rescue Service’s ability to protect the health and safety of the residents of Pahrump. The grant is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).
“I am pleased that Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue Service will have new resources to protect Nye County,” said Senator Reid. “Wildfires continue to be a threat to Nevada, and it is important to reassure visitors and Nevadans that they will be safe in the Silver State. I remain committed to providing our first responders with the tools they need to ensure their own safety as well as the citizens they protect.”
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program supports fire departments and first responders that are not affiliated with a hospital to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public. This funding will provide Pahrump’s nearly 40,000 permanent and 5,000 seasonal residents with the security they deserve.
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