State Line Fire Planned to Improve Bighorn Sheep Habitat
Contact: Cassity Bromley, 307-548-5416
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, in cooperation with the Bighorn National Forest, will be conducting a prescribed fire in the park near the Wyoming Montana state line this spring if conditions permit.
Bighorn Sheep, who live in the park, depend heavily on their eyesight to avoid predators. Juniper cover has increased in the park, providing more hiding places for predators such as mountain lions. Bighorn sheep are less likely to use areas where they cannot see or escape from predators. Research in the park has identified areas where removing juniper will improve range conditions for bighorn sheep.
At the state line, juniper is mixed with mountain mahogany, which is an important winter forage for bighorns, wild horses and other animals. Because of this, burning will take place under cooler conditions, and ignition will proceed tree to tree, burning the juniper and leaving as much mountain mahogany as possible. Up to 450 acres will be treated. Post fire, seeding with native species and weed control will occur as needed. Contact Cassity Bromley, Chief of Resources (acting) 307-548-5416 with questions or comments.
Did You Know?
Of the 739 documented plant species at Bighorn Canyon, 14% are non-native. These invasive species can lead to fire hazards, degrade habitat, and cause soil erosion. More...