BLM High Desert District Plans Utah Juniper Treatment

BLM High Desert District Plans Utah Juniper Treatment

ROCK SPRINGS — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) High Desert District will treat approximately 912 acres of sagebrush steppe encroached upon by Utah Juniper 50 miles southwest of Rock Springs, Wyo.

The project will utilize mechanical and chemical vegetation treatments as well as prescribed fire pile burns over the next three to seven years to remove junipers less than 100 years old and under 10 feet tall. The removal of these junipers will generate a natural edge effect and create transitional corridors between sage and grass communities and old-growth juniper within Currant Creek Ridge.

The treatments will take place within the Sugarloaf Allotment and Currant Creek Ridge west of the Wildhorse Basin wildfire which burned about 37,000 acres in 2000. Currant Creek Ranch is located directly north of the project area, within one mile of the project boundary.

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Periodic natural fires would typically occur within the sagebrush steppe and juniper woodland to maintain the balance between perennial grasses, forbs and woody shrubs by removing the non-sprouting shrubs and permitting other, fire-adapted species to establish. The absence of naturally occurring fires in this area has resulted in a shift from a perennial grass and shrub community into one dominated by Utah Juniper.

For more information, please contact Michael Barajas at 307-352-0376.