News

Winnemucca District Continues Coordination with Martin Fire Permittees

WINNEMUCCA, NV – The Bureau of Land Management, Winnemucca District, Humboldt River Field Office, continues to assist grazing permittees and other public land users affected by the Martin Fire.  In a collaborative and cooperative process, BLM is addressing fencing status and needs, helping coordinate Farm Services Administration funding sources, and holding individual meetings with permittees about future grazing needs and feasibility within the fire perimeter. If you are a permittee impacted by the Martin Fire and need more assistance, please contact email the Emergency and Stabilization Coordinator, Kenneth Shedden, kshedden@blm.gov or call 775-623-1500.

The Martin Fire, which was located seven miles north of Paradise Valley, Nevada, was reported on July 5 and contained July 21. The Martin Fire burned 416,821 acres in both the Winnemucca and Elko Districts. In the Winnemucca District, the fire affected seven grazing allotments and eight permittees.

Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ES&R) involves various steps after the fire’s containment. Within 20 days of declaring the fire 100% contained, the ES&R team must examine the burned area, develop and submit an approved ES&R plan. Then the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance documentation and plan are approved, funding secured from the Washington Office, and the plan is implemented. At this time, the Winnemucca District is awaiting funding, which should be received in the coming days. Implementation of the ES&R plan is expected to start in the next few weeks with the goal of working through the winter and finishing before spring of 2019.

The Winnemucca District has provided several opportunities for stakeholder and permittee coordination. The Humboldt River Field Office first contacted grazing permittees on July 6 and invited them to the Martin Fire morning and evening briefings.  On July 11, the Winnemucca District held a public meeting at Humboldt County Commissioners meeting hall. Additional meetings and phone calls with BLM range management specialists and grazing permittees took place throughout July, August and September to address fencing needs, possibility of grazing flexibility within each permit, status of ES&R plan, and additional funds from state and Federal agencies. Permittees will be heavily involved with all grazing agreements and closures drafted for impacted areas.  The Winnemucca District’s intent is to allow for the maximum amount of flexibility allowed within future grazing years after the Martin Fire for the impacted areas.

Courtesy: Fernando Pitones, Sr., Public Affairs Officer Winnemucca District BLM