Las Vegas – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Red Rock/Sloan Field Office will host a public meeting on October 9 at 2 p.m. at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Visitor Center classroom. The meeting will focus on information about a proposed fence around Schumacher Spring to restore the area to a functioning riparian system.An Environmental Assessment analyzing any impacts from a proposed fence around Schumacher Spring, located in the Lucky Strike Canyon Area will be available for public comment from October 10 through October 24.
The area around Schumacher Spring has been heavily degraded and there is little vegetation left in the immediate area. This has led to erosion problems with over one foot of soil being lost in some adjacent spots.
The preferred alternative in the Environmental Assessment is a steel three rail fence encompassing 3,900 square feet of the hillside, including the springhead. The fence will not encompass the entire length of the surface flow, so that wildlife and burros will still have continuous access to drinking water. Where the fence crosses the surface flow, there will be multiple posts along the flow so that the fenceline can be moved depending on the reach of the surface flow. This will ensure that surface water always flows outside the fence while maximizing the restoration area. The fence will likely be constructed this fall.
For more information about this project, please contact Ben Nicklay (Great Basin Institute/BLM) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-515-5028.
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.
From Conservation Magazine:
It’s easy to forget sometimes that the mammoth time, effort, and money spent on scientific research actually does have a point. We hope, as we engage in all that work, that it will actually yield results that we can, you know, use. But one tiny branch of research has shown in the past that people whose job is to engage in environmental management very rarely actually listen to the advice of the scientists working in their fields. There is a disconnect, it seems, between research and real-world application.
A new study, published this month in Conservation Biology, looked a bit deeper into that disconnect. Researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology conducted a survey of 92 conservation managers from 26 countries (though mostly in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand), to find out how they use or would use scientific evidence to reduce predation on birds.
The participants first answered questions about 28 management interventions that are designed to reduce predation on birds by invasive or problematic species; these ranged from the use of electric fencing and artificial nests to “cat curfews” and predator translocation, among many others. Afterward, they were asked to answer more questions about these conservation practices, only this time while reading parts of the Bird Conservation Evidence Synopsis, a free tool summarizing research on all the various practices the managers were asked about. The average respondent had heard of 57.1 percent of the 28 interventions, and had actually implemented 18.5 percent. Encouragingly, there was a positive correlation between what research has shown to be an actually effective intervention and the number of people who used it—which suggests that the evidence is, to some extent, making its way into the right hands.
See the rest of the article here: http://conservationmagazine.org/2014/08/how-can-we-translate-conservation-research-into-actual-conservation/
Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office has launched the “Adopt-a-Space” Program to combat illegal dumping on public lands. Two open houses about the new program will be held on Thursday, August 21, from 4-6 p.m., and Saturday, August 23, from 9-11 a.m., at the Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road in Carson City. RSVP’s for the open houses are requested.
“This program facilitates creating public land stewards who will assist the BLM with keeping the public land free of litter so that all may enjoy,” said Leon Thomas, Field Manager. “We are looking for individuals, groups, schools, businesses, organizations and anyone who is interested in participating in this program.”
BLM staff will work closely with volunteer groups to guide them through the process of adopting a space. Pre-determined spots have been designated for the program. However, if there is an area in need of clean-up, BLM will work with individuals and groups to get it nominated and adopted.
“The BLM has combated illegal dumping on public lands for years. Not only is household trash being dumped, but other items including abandoned cars and boats, refrigerators, tires, hazardous materials and trigger trash,” Thomas stated.
For additional information please call 775-885-6000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
ew conservation initiative goes beyond traditional government efforts to allow businesses, other partners to invest in regional conservation projects
BAY CITY, Mich., May 27, 2014–Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today joined Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow to launch a new era in American conservation efforts with an historic focus on public-private partnership. Vilsack made the announcement in Bay City, Mich., which sits at the heart of the Saginaw Bay watershed in the center of the Great Lakes region, an area where agriculture is a leading industry. Vilsack also praised Senator Stabenow for her leadership as Agriculture Committee Chair to improve conservation programs in Michigan and across the nation, and acknowledged her work to craft and secure passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, which authorized USDA to create the new conservation program.
“This is an entirely new approach to conservation,” said Vilsack. “We’re giving private companies, local communities, and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations. By establishing new public-private partnerships, we can have an impact that’s well beyond what the Federal government could accomplish on its own. These efforts keep our land resilient and water clean, and promote tremendous economic growth in agriculture, construction, tourism and outdoor recreation, and other industries.”
Along the Saginaw Bay, intensive agricultural production, industrial pollution and other factors have created a need for enhanced water quality efforts. The new conservation program announced today, called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), will benefit similar areas across the nation. RCPP streamlines conservation efforts by combining four programs (the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, and the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion) into one.
The RCPP will competitively award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region. Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments and others joining with agricultural and conservation organizations and producers to invest money, manpower and materials to their proposed initiatives. With participating partners investing along with the Department, USDA’s $1.2 billion in funding over the life of the five-year program can leverage an additional $1.2 billion from partners for a total of $2.4 billion for conservation. $400 million in USDA funding is available in the first year. Through RCPP, partners propose conservation projects to improve soil health, water quality and water use efficiency, wildlife habitat, and other related natural resources on private lands.
This is an example of government at its best—streamlining multiple programs into one more effective effort, providing flexible tools, and connecting local citizens and organizations with resources that best address their priorities, protect and improve their quality of life, and propel economic growth.
In addition to supporting local conservation goals, clean land and water investments create jobs in local communities. Conservation work involves building and maintaining infrastructure—building terraces in fields or restoring wetlands, which requires the hiring of contractors, engineers, scientists, and others. A 2013 study commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation estimates that last year, conservation activities supported more than 660,000 jobs.
Conservation also provides an economic boost by spurring local tourism. Cleaner water and enhanced wildlife habitat provide additional opportunities for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. The outdoor recreation economy supports 6.1 million direct jobs, $80 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue, and $646 billion in spending each year.
The RCPP has three funding pools:
35 percent of total program funding directed to critical conservation areas, chosen by the agriculture secretary;
40 percent directed to regional or multi-state projects through a national competitive process; and
25 percent directed to state-level projects through a competitive process established by NRCS state leaders.
The critical conservation areas Secretary Vilsack announced today are: the Great Lakes Region, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Mississippi River Basin, Longleaf Pine Range, Columbia River Basin, California Bay Delta, Prairie Grasslands, and the Colorado River Basin.
USDA is now accepting proposals for this program. Pre-proposals are due July 14, and full proposals are due September 26. For more information on applying, visit the announcement for program funding.
To learn about technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or local USDA service center. For more on the 2014 Farm Bill, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/FarmBill.
CARSON CITY, Nevada…U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has approved ten areas within the national forest in Nevada as priorities for projects to combat damage from insects and disease that weakens forests and increases the risk of wildfire.
Responding to a provision in the new Farm Bill, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval had requested that the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service designate these areas for forest health projects. The designation will provide the Forest Service, working collaboratively with the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) and other stakeholders, additional tools, and flexibility to more efficiently plan and implement restoration treatments as funding becomes available.
“The ability to proactively manage National Forest lands within the State of Nevada is important to the preservation and safety of our communities,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “I would like to thank Secretary Vilsack and the U.S. Forest Service for their recognition and commitment to these project areas.”
Treatments could include forest thinning to reduce competition for water, sunlight and nutrients that can cause trees to be at increased risk for insect infestation or disease, or thinning to remove trees that are already affected. Thinning projects reduce the possibility that an entire stand of trees could be destroyed by wildfire.
“With the focus on Wildfire Awareness Month in May, we’re pleased to announce this collaborative effort between NDF and the Forest Service,” said Nevada State Forester Pete Anderson. “Forest health projects in these areas would greatly reduce the risk of severe wildfire to nearby communities.”
The Forest Service and NDF worked closely together to identify areas that are:
[Map showing Healthy Forest Restoration Act designated lands in Nevada]
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front Field Office has approved the Pine Nut Land Health Project, located in the Pine Nut Mountains in Douglas, Lyon and Carson City Counties, Nevada. Vegetation treatments on approximately 24,564 acres will be applied over a 10 to 15 year period to restore ecological balance, diversity and resilience to plant communities and reduce hazardous fuels to protect people, property and natural resources from severe wildfire. Implementation will begin fall 2014.
“For nearly two years, BLM has been working on this project, conducting outreach to the public, tribes, and other natural resource agencies,” said Leon Thomas, Field Manager. “This project will reduce fire hazard fuels in the wildland-urban interface, improve riparian and sagebrush community health and ensure that historic/old growth pinyon trees are maintained.”
For more information, contact Brian Buttazoni, Planning and Environmental Coordinator at 775-885-6000 or email@example.com. The project documents, maps and other information can be found at www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa/nepa_archives.html
From the USGS:
The practice of emergency post-fire seeding in sagebrush landscapes of the Great Basin, which was meant to stabilize soils, has not resulted in restored habitats that would be used by greater sage-grouse according to U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Forest Service researchers who published their results today in the journal Ecosphere. The new study examined the habitat that was present 8-20 years after the seeding projects occurred. These aerial or rangeland drill seeding projects did not always include sagebrush seeds and were not intended to restore wildlife habitat, but instead were designed to mitigate the effects of fire on soil and vegetation. Yet they provide an opportunity to reverse habitat degradation for sage-grouse, a species being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
See the full article here: Post-Fire Stabilization Seedings Have Not Developed Into Sage-grouse Habitat
From the University of Nevada Reno, Cooperative Extension, see full article here.
Nevada’s McAdoo encourages the use of shrub transplants to restore sagebrush-dependent ecosystems
Natural Resource Specialist Kent McAdoo recently shared results from research testing the restoration of sagebrush in areas where grasses became the dominant vegetation after fire or other causes. In his published results, McAdoo, of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, explained that sagebrush is vital for sage-grouse and other wildlife on much of Nevada’s rangelands.
"It serves as critical habitat for a number of sagebrush-associated wildlife species, including the sage-grouse, which is being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act," he said. "Usually direct-seeding is currently used for sagebrush restoration methods. It’s cheaper, but often unreliable."
’Bootstraps’ program for young adults receives Partners in Conservation Award from U.S. Department of Interior; restores sage-grouse habitat
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Bootstraps Program has received the 2013 Partners in Conservation Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior, one of only 20 programs across the nation to receive this award for achievements in conservation of natural resources that include collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities.
The Bootstraps Program gives at-risk young adults, ages 18 to 25, the opportunity to be involved in natural resource project work, such as restoring sage-grouse habitat. Through the program, participants receive practical classroom instruction and field experience, as well as the skills and decision-making abilities to return to school or enter the workforce. Since 2005, the program has employed more than 100 at-risk young adults, about two-thirds of whom are Native Americans.
See the whole article at the UNCE website.
Follow us on these social media sites:
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.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.