Community Helps Heal a Fire-Scarred Canyon

Last year, Nevada experienced a severe fire season, with a lot of high-intensity wildfires that destroyed vegetation that was important habitat for our wild neighbors. While fire is an important part of the natural ecosystem, the landscape needs help to restore the plant community with reseeding in the winter to ensure native vegetation can establish in the spring before invasive plants take over.

Communities are gathering together with state and federal agencies to help restore 10,000 acres of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and private lands that burned in last summer’s Owl Creek and Range Two fires. Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) began reseeding in mid-January, while the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees were on furlough. Last year’s severe fire season put pressure on the state’s resources and budget, so NDOW’s budget only allowed for the reseeding of 25 percent of the affected landscape.

The Elko area community gathered together to help fund the restoration of Lamoille Canyon, where a group of local businesses are collecting donations with the goal of raising $500,000. The group is made up of representatives from High Desert Imaging, Northeastern Nevada Stewardship Group, Friends of the Ruby Mountains, NDOW, USFS and the Nevada Division of Forestry. The money will be used to purchase and distribute seeds of native grasses, shrubs, and sagebrush.

This is a good example of communities working together to help restore a landscape affected by fire and improve habitat for our wild neighbors! If you would like to help this restoration effort, you can donate on the Northeastern Nevada Stewardship Group’s website.

Jessica Whalen

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