Forest Service and BLM Honor Firefighters
The National Interagency Fire Center Governing Board has selected the Bureau of Land Management Green River District, Moab Interagency Fire Center Dispatch North Zone, U.S. Forest Service-Manti-La Sal National Forest North Zone, and interagency partners as the winner of the 2022 Pulaski Award. The recipients are being recognized for their collaboration in advance of and during the Bear and Bennion Creek fires in June 2021 that spread northwest of Helper, Utah. The honor was awarded during a ceremony in Price.
“This award recognizes the amazing quality of our interagency relationships,” said BLM Green River District Manager Lance Porter. “It underscores the importance of how critical these relationships are in a wildland fire setting.”
The Pulaski Award is named after a young forest ranger who, in 1910, led his crew through thick smoke, heat, and flames to safety. To this day, the name and the award exemplify the true meaning of courage and teamwork.
Lichen Study – Discovery Pool Update
Dr. Steve Leavitt sent in this fascinating update on his Discovery Pool Project: Lichens as tools to monitor disturbances in the La Sal Mountains.
“We collaborated with folks in Canada and China to find out that what we call the ‘granite rock speck lichen’ is really a whole bunch of different species. Each region, and sometimes each mountain range, seem to have their own unique lichens. In the La Sals, there are up to 18 different species hidden in what we had previously thought was a single species. The next step will be to formally describe some of these as new to science. The first, I am hoping to name ‘Lecanora tukuhnikivatzensis’.”
Below is a link to the paper that was published in the Journal of Fungi, the second highest ranked journal for mycology (the study of fungi).
Water Guzzlers Aid Bighorn Sheep
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Moab Field Office wildlife program has a long-standing partnership with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to maintain more than 40 guzzlers that benefit Bighorn sheep and Pronghorn Antelope. Guzzlers are a type of water development that provide water for wildlife utilizing water catchments, storage tanks, and an adjacent drinker. The water level in the drinker is controlled by a bob float valve that shuts off when the water gets to a certain level, prevents overflow, and turns on when the water level drops.
The guzzlers are a tool to mitigate negative impacts, habitat fragmentation and loss, drought, and human disturbance. Providing water improves occupied habitats and reduces the need to move to other areas seeking water. BLM closely monitors water levels in the tanks during the summer months. Each guzzler collects rainfall with apron catchments and the water is stored in a holding tank. The tanks size ranges from 600 to 3,000 gallons depending on the landscape and terrain.
These water systems are crucial during hot and dry summer months when natural water sources are sparse or nonexistent. Empty or low water guzzlers are filled using water trucks when the guzzler can be accessed by roads. In remote locations that cannot be accessed by roads, helicopters are used to fill the guzzlers.
Maintenance is an ongoing challenge and older systems are refurbished with new tanks, new lines, and new apron catchments to keep the guzzler systems working efficiently, and to meet the needs of the wildlife in the area. Other animals benefit from guzzlers including Prairie Dogs, Badgers, and Kit Fox. The Moab Field Office has installed and maintained guzzlers for over 40 years in the area. For more information or to volunteer, contact Jon Blanc at email@example.com.
As the weather warms up, you may start to see some local forest neighbors during your camping trip. Recently, a bear was sighted around Maple Canyon. While the temptation may be to give them a big ole bear hug, please give them space. If you see a cub alone, don’t approach. Momma bear could be nearby.
If you do encounter a bear, please remember these tips:
- You are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.
- Keep a clean campsite.
- Do not store food or any scented items in a tent, including clothing with food residues.
- Do not leave food unattended at a campsite or in your vehicle.
- Use bear-resistant food lockers and dumpsters where provided or bring your own
Want to brush up on being #bearaware and #knowbeforeyougo? Check out the Forest Service’s https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/bears.
This is an excerpt from the Canyonlands Natural History Association’s Member Newsletter. To find out more about CNHA and how to get your own copy delivered, visit the Canyonlands Natural History Association website.