ELY – The Bureau of Land Management is restoring watershed health and improving wildlife habitat while reducing fuel loading on more than 2,000 acres of agency-administered lands in eastern Nevada.
The BLM’s Ely District in November aerially seeded 2,120 acres of the public lands at Patterson Pass and Gouge Eye in Cave and southern Lake valleys, about 65 miles south of Ely. The district seeded 570 acres at Patterson Pass and 1,550 acres at Gouge Eye.
The seedings are part of a pinion-pine and juniper tree-thinning treatment utilizing the “Ely chain,” an approximately 200-foot anchor chain with railroad iron welded perpendicular to the links that is pulled between two pieces of heavy equipment. The chain rolls over the ground, knocking down encroaching vegetation and breaking up the soil surface to prepare the seed bed. After the seed is applied, a second pass in the opposite direction ensures the seed is buried.
“Our goal is to improve understory grass and shrub diversity, which provides forage for wildlife, as well as create a fuels break to slow the spread of a potential wildfire,” Cody Coombs, Supervisory Natural Resources Specialist and Program Manager, said. The treated acres are part of the larger Cave and Lake Valleys Watershed Restoration Project, a multi-year project that will treat up to 121,600 acres of the 583,800-plus acre watersheds. Learn more about the landscape-scale project at https://go.usa.gov/xAras.