Governor Sisolak, Nevada officials visit Tamarack Fire burn site, survey wildfire restoration and preventative work

CARSON CITY, NV - February 09, 2022

Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak joined Nevada State Forester Kacey KC and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Habitat Division Administrator Alan Jenne to visit with wildland conservation personnel from the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) and NDOW working to restore and enhance the health of the Tamarack Fire burn scar.

The Tamarack Fire was sparked by a lightning strike on July 4, 2021, and fueled by the area’s dry unhealthy landscape, burning a total of 68,696 acres in Nevada and California, and destroying multiple homes and structures. Over the past five months, NDOW and NDF have been working to enhance the health and resiliency of the rangeland, primarily Bureau of Indian Affairs Trust Lands, to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and restore critical habitat for many Nevada wildlife species including mule deer, Bi-State Sage Grouse, and much more. As a vital part of these efforts, the partner agencies are using NDF’s helicopter to apply 71,400 pounds of seed of fire-and-drought resilient grasses, flowers, and shrubs across more than 8,000 acres within the Tamarack Fire burn scar.

NDF provided $150,000 in seed and rehabilitation work to make this project possible. NDOW, along with financial support from outdoor recreationists and conservation partner organizations, including Reno Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Nevada Muleys, Nevada Chukar Foundation, Elko Bighorns Unlimited, and the Dream Tag Foundation, were able to produce nearly 65,000 pounds of seed to cover more than 7,500 acres at a cost of nearly $700,000. Without these state agencies and their partners taking strategic action to restore and re-seed the area with fire-resilient vegetation, much of the landscape would likely convert to cheatgrass, making the area even more susceptible to annual catastrophic wildfire.

“I applaud NDF, NDOW, and their partners for advancing this critical undertaking to restore thousands of acres across private and Tribal landscapes impacted by the Tamarack Fire to help protect Nevada families, community infrastructure, critical wildlife habitat, and the natural environment,” said Governor Sisolak. “With the sweeping impacts of climate change increasing both the frequency and intensity of wildfires across the western U.S., we must do more than ever to maintain healthy forests and rangelands while creating fire-adapted communities in all corners of the Silver State. The Tamarack Fire restoration project is a shining example of strategic coordination and tangible, on-the-ground action that strengthens Nevada’s long-term resilience to wildfire, drought, and other climate change impacts.”

Amid the growing impacts of climate change, broader and more focused rangeland management efforts, like the Tamarack Fire restoration project, have improved wildlife habitat while reducing fire intensity, frequency, and damage by re-establishing wildfire-resilient ecosystems, creating defensible space near communities, and ensuring safer conditions for firefighters to successfully respond to and suppress wildfires. Additionally, these projects protect and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities, improve grazing, and support tribal resources.

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Meghin Delaney
Communications Director