ELKO, Nev. – More than three dozen people gathered together on March 31 to donate their time by planting approximately 4,000 sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings in an area not well frequented by humans, but vital to area mule deer.
This area, near Rock Creek Ranch north of Battle Mountain, Nev., was also seeded last year with volunteer effort, but more than half was burned in the 2011 Izzenhood fire. Although returning volunteers were delighted to see several bitterbrush and sagebrush plants survived. Reseeding this area will provide much needed natural and nutritious forage for the wildlife traversing this area.
In almost four hours, the 31 volunteers had planted seedlings across 15 acres of habitat for the main migration corridor between summer and winter range for thousands of mule deer within NDOW’s Management Area Six.
The event was organized by the Bureau of Land Management, Elko District, led by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Elko office and the seedlings and lunch were paid for by Nevada Muleys, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving mule deer and their habitat. Volunteers came from Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and Elko.
The following weekend, April 8, a handful of BLM personnel returned to the seedlings site and planted an additional 2,000 seedlings to complete the rehabilitation effort paid by Nevada Muleys.
Photos of the event are available on BLM Nevada’s Flickr page at: bit.ly/HBzyV3