After Wildfire Rangeland Care
Last summer parts of Southern Oregon were devastated by fire. I recently spoke with Bureau of Land Management Rangeland Specialist Mitch Thomas about some of the strategies they use for rehabilitation of damaged range. He said that when fences are burned, it brings an unexpected opportunity to examine if they are in the best location as well as other considerations.
Thomas: “It is an opportunity of course too maybe move a fence around if it wasn’t in the right location or upgrade a fence a little bit to make it more feasible for wildlife passage. There are specific things that wildlife biologist prefer to have on our fences for sage grouse mitigation as well as antelope. And of course it is good just to have a fence in working order. Improper fence -- elk can get hung up in it which can create more maintenance. Or you can have a fence that runs right through through the middle of a spring source. So it is good to use the opportunity to fix things up when it presents itself.”
Another issue with burned range is always the competing noxious weeds that quickly return often to the determinant of native grasses and other plants.
Thomas says that in order to determine the best available options for improving the damaged land; it is critical to examine the burned area to assess what will be most successful -- depending on available monies -- whether it is reseeding and/or weed control.