Bighorn Basin: BLM Plans Several Prescribed Burns In 2022
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 18, 2022
The B.L.M. intends to burn hundreds of acres in the Bighorn Basin over the next two years to improve habitat and forest health for important flora and fauna.
The Bureau of Land Management Wind River/Bighorn Basin District tentatively plans to conduct three prescribed fire projects within the Cody and Worland field office areas this winter and spring as part of the B.L.M.’s commitment to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive.
“These projects are designed for overall improvements to land, vegetation, and wildlife habitat; to increase livestock and wildlife forage and improve distribution; and to reduce the hazardous build-up of fuels, which lessens the probability of a severe wildfire,” said B.L.M. Assistant Fire Management Officer Rance Neighbors.
There is no official timeline for the fire projects – the B.L.M. anticipates they will primarily take place from March through May but may start as early as January.
Prescribed burns will only occur when weather conditions and fuel moisture conditions are favorable for a safe and effective burn.
Each project will range from 200-800 acres. Overall, the projects will continue for the next two years or until completion.
Smoke may be visible at times during the operations.
Projects in the Cody Field Office area:
- West Slope: Located 16 miles east of Lovell on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains.
The burn will occur within the Simmons Canyon and Mexican Hills areas. Approximately 400 acres of conifer encroachment will be targeted within mountain shrub sites to continue long-term improvements to big game and sage grouse habitat.
Projects in the Worland Field Office area:
- Medicine Lodge: Located approximately 5 miles northeast of Hyattville in the Medicine Lodge Wildlife Habitat Management Area.
- Noon Point: Located approximately 20 miles southwest of Meeteetse within the Gooseberry Creek Drainage.
Worland Field Office area projects will include mosaic sagebrush burning, encroaching conifer reduction, and aspen enhancement on BLM-managed lands. In addition, the burn will benefit adjacent lands owned by the State of Wyoming, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and private landowners.