Prescribed Fire Planned for Star Valley Front Veg Project
The Greys River Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest plans to implement a 99-acre prescribed fire unit of the Star Valley Front Vegetation Project. This unit3 is located east of Grover, Wy in Cemetery Gulch.
The Star Valley Front Vegetation project is a 31,477-acre project area that extends from Strawberry Creek south to Cottonwood Creek, from the forest boundary to the top of the Salt River Range. The main purpose for treating vegetation in the Star Valley Front Project Area is to begin restoring a balance of age classes in mountain shrub land, mountain big sagebrush, aspen, and conifer communities. The mix of succession stages is currently heavily skewed toward older age classes. Another important purpose is to improve the vigor of vegetation on mule deer and elk winter and transition range, which is particularly relevant given the great interest in deer and elk populations in the Star Valley area. Star Valley Front, Unit 3, is in the northwestern portion of the project area. Unit 3 consists of primarily grass and mountain brush.
The objectives of the burn are to:
-Contribute to a balanced mix of successional stages of major vegetation types.
-Reduce the abundance and canopy cover of conifer trees in mountain shrub land, big sagebrush, and aspen types.
-Rejuvenate shrubs and aspen trees, especially on mule deer and elk winter range.
-Restore fire to its natural role on the landscape.
-Reduce fuel loading on the landscape to reduce the extent and severity of future wildfire, both for firefighter safety and for resource protection.
This project is expected to be carried out anytime in the spring between March 1 and May 15th, 2022 when snow has melted from the south facing slope but still exists in the adjacent fuels surrounding the unit. Fire fighters will use this snow as a holding feature to prevent fire spread outside the unit. Actual ignition dates will be dependent on meeting strict parameters for weather, smoke dispersal and expected fire behavior conditions. The community of Grover as well as Forest visitors camping and recreating in the area, may experience short term smokey conditions in the vicinity of the burn unit during ignition operations. Because the burn will consume primarily fine fuels, smoke duration will be short lived as the fuels will consume quickly. Residents can expect smokey conditions the day of the burn and possibly overnight into the next day. Roads and trails should remain open to the public, however certain areas may be closed for a short period of time if deemed that public and firefighter safety may be impacted during portions of the burn.
This vegetation treatment is an interagency cooperative effort with Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the United States Forest Service. In agreement with the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Account of Wyoming (WWNRT), funding support for this and future projects exists.
For more information about this project, contact Greys River Ranger District at: 307-886-5300