BLM in Craig conducting big game, sage-grouse habitat management
Recreation enthusiasts, especially hunters trekking into the northwestern portions of Moffat County outside Craig, should be aware the Bureau of Land Management will be operating heavy machinery in Game Management Unit 3.
According to a news release Friday, BLM’s Little Snake Field Office in Craig announced they’ll be working on two habitat improvement projects — the 663-acre Big Hole mastication project 34 miles northwest of Craig and the 618-acre Tommy’s Gulch mastication project. Both projects will use heavy machinery to root our pinyon and juniper encroaching into sage brush meadows that make perfect Greater Sage-grouse territory.
BLM anticipates work to begin Oct. 23 and hopes to conclude by Nov. 30.
“Whole trees will be reduced to small branches and wood mulch using either a rubber-tired tractor with a hydraulically powered mowing or mulching head or a tracked unit with a similar masticating head,” BLM said in their Friday release. “Machine size may vary from a skid steer to large logging equipment.”
Little Snake Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe said his office is protecting sage-grouse and big game habitat in the area for future generations.
“Although these projects are small relative to the large amount of public land within the Little Snake Field Office, we know there may be some local impacts from the operations to people recreating in the area, including hunters,” Sillitoe said. “These projects will bring years of benefit to sage-grouse and big game habitat by removing these trees encroaching into sage meadows. We appreciate the public’s patience as we complete these projects.”