Special to The Ely Times
The Bureau of Land Management’s Ely and Elko districts and Nevada Department of Wildlife are seeding about 15,337 acres, or nearly one-half of the public lands burned in last summer’s Goshute Cave Fire, 55 miles north of Ely.
The lightning-ignited fire burned 32,215 acres of BLM-administered land in and outside the Goshute Canyon Wilderness in White Pine and Elko counties. The fire burned general Greater Sage grouse and critical mule deer winter and summer habitat.
The BLM is aerially applying 138,243 pounds of grass, forb and brush seed. Mixes vary depending on which portion of the fire is seeded.
Some factors that determine seed mixes include burn severity, soil type, elevation, slope, annual precipitation and pre-existing vegetation.
The BLM expects to finish seeding in two-plus weeks, weather permitting. The helicopter seeding is part of an emergency stabilization and rehabilitation plan.
The plan goal is to reduce soil loss, minimize noxious weed invasion and stabilize wildlife habitat, and lower future catastrophic wildfire risk.
Other planned-for treatments include felling dead trees and installing straw wattles on hill and mountainsides to catch soils and reduce erosion, planting willows to stabilize streams, and noxious weed treatments.
The BLM will also fell hazardous trees, construct and repair fence, and reconstruct the Goshute Cave Campground. The BLM will begin the treatments as access allows.