BLM OKs 10-15-year Pine Nut project | RecordCourier.com

BLM OKs 10-15-year Pine Nut project

Staff Reports
A lone piñon pine tree defines the landscape in the Pine Nut Mountains at sunset.
Rick Gunn | Nevada Appeal file photo

A 10-15-year project to reduce hazardous fuels in the Pine Nut Mountains will start in the fall, the Bureau of Land Management announced on Tuesday.

The Pine Nut Land Health Project will affect 24,564 acres in the mountains east of Carson Valley.

“For nearly two years, BLM has been working on this project, conducting outreach to the public, tribes, and other natural resource agencies,” said Field Manager Leon Thomas. “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.”

According to the BLM, work is designed to reduce the number of piñon trees, which tend to prevent understory vegetation from recovering after a fire. As firefighters found out during last year’s Bison fire, blazes in dense piñon-juniper can be difficult to control, according to the record of decision.

One of the goals of the treatment will be to reduce the number of trees in favor of shrubs and grasses.

The work would make the Pine Nuts friendlier for mule deer, scrub and piñon jays and mountain chickees, which prefer more open woodland.

The project has been determined not to constitute a major federal action with a significant effect on the human environment, so no environmental impact statement was needed.

According to the agency, vegetation will be treated “to restore ecological balance, diversity and resilience to plant communities and reduce hazardous fuels to protect people, property and natural resources from severe wildfire.”

The project documents, maps and other information can be found at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa/nepa_archives.html