Pine Nut reseeding set to start next week
Ryan Summerlin January 7, 2013
A record year for wildfires in the Pine Nut Mountains has prompted several agencies to join forces to reseed damaged areas.
Bureau of Land Management Spokeswoman Lisa Ross said aerial seeding will begin on Jan. 14, weather permitting, at the sites of the Spring, Preacher and Como fires in the Pine Nut Mountains.
“They will be dropping a combination of native perennial grasses, forbs and shrubs targeted to establish quickly to prevent cheat grass dominance, reduce soil erosion and enhance the sage grouse habitat.”
Ross said aircraft will be dropping the seed for about three weeks. Officials hope to have the seeding wrapped up by Feb. 2, but could be delayed by weather.
The BLM is working in coordination with Western Nevada Agency of Indian Affairs, Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Nevada Division of Forestry.
According to the state, more than 680,000 acres of land were burned statewide during the 2012 wildfire season.
Since August 2011, six fires have raged through the pinon and shrub in the Pine Nut Mountains, devouring more than 18,000 acres, sending huge plumes of smoke into the air east of Carson Valley.
The three biggest fires were caused by human action, including the 3,900-acre Ray May fire in August 2011, which started as a result of a improperly extinguished campfire, the 7,500-acre TRE fire begun by an improperly extinguished backyard burn and the Carter Springs fire, started next to the highway by either a cigarette or a small car fire.
The enormity of the damage caused by the fires prompted the East Fork Fire District to cancel the fall backyard burning season.
Seeding is not limited to the burned areas. More than 350 miles of bulldozer line was built to suppress the fires, which now has to be seeded to restore native vegetation.
The state departments of wildlife and forestry are collecting and purchasing native and adaptive seeds to reestablish vegetation in burned areas.
To date NDF’s seedbank has purchased more than $100,000 of seed and has collected more than 1,000 pounds of sagebrush, forage kochia and four-wing salt brush seed through volunteer efforts and with the help of conservation camp crews.
The forestry department’s state tree nurseries are growing sagebrush and bitterbrush.
Private land owners who’d like to discuss rehabilitation of their property may contact the NDF’s Western Nevada resource management officer at 775-849-2500.