Re-posted on behalf of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Carson City, Nevada. April 4, 2016. As part of a Carson Ranger District Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project, sheep will be placed on two separate grazing units to reduce fuel load by removing fine fuels, including cheatgrass and other non-native vegetation, from National Forest Systems (NFS) lands.
The first unit to be grazed is over 1,000 acres of NFS land located approximately 10 miles southwest of Reno, Nevada, and just west of the Arrowcreek Residential Area urban interface. It will occur within the Thomas Creek and Whites Creek watersheds north of Timberline Road. Grazing will begin April 1 and will continue through the end of the cheatgrass growing season in early summer.
The second unit to be grazed is over 500 acres of NFS land located on C Hill just west of Carson City, Nevada, off of Curry Street. Grazing will begin April 7 and will also continue through the cheatgrass growing season.
“Cheatgrass is an invasive species that has the potential to dominate an area if not managed," said Fuels Forester Anna Belle Monti. “It can outcompete native vegetation, eventually pushing native grasses and shrubs out of their natural habitat. Cheatgrass also create an exceptional fuel bed for wildfire and can be a threat to surrounding communities.”
The Forest has contracted with the Borda Land & Sheep Company out of Gardenville, Nevada to perform this grazing project. Approximately 800 ewes will be used for each unit and each flock will be monitored by two herders and their dogs. Water for the sheep will be provided by Nevada Division of Forestry and Carson City Fire Department at predetermined locations.
“This program is an important measure to help keep our communities safe from fire," said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. "Targeted grazing can be a cost effective and efficient way to reduce fuels, specifically in the case of cheatgrass."
Visitors in the areas are asked to keep their dogs on a leash at all times. Livestock guard dogs will be present with the sheep herds and they instinctively will guard the herd from any form of predator that it feels is a threat.
For more information on the Carson Ranger District Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project, contact Anna Belle Monti at 775-884-8103.
For additional information on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/htnf or participate in the conversation at https://twitter.com/HumboldtToiyabe and https://www.facebook.com/HumboldtToiyabeNF/.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe's spectacular 6.3 million acres make it the largest national forest in the lower 48 states. Located in Nevada and a small portion of eastern California, the Forest offers year-round recreation of all types.