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 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.