Reseeding burn area will cost $900,000

The Bureau of Land Management will soon begin aerial reseeding of the Pine Ridge Fire burn area in an effort to encourage regrowth there.

The lightning-sparked fire burned nearly 14,000 acres last summer near De Beque. The intense heat of the fire destroyed vegetation and created conditions prime for high erosion, habitat loss and weed infestation, according to the BLM.

The reseeding operation will consist of three seed blends. One will be placed on areas of the burn with the deepest soils and greatest growth potential. Another will be scattered on steep, rocky, shallow soil areas that have a lower potential for growth. A third will be spread in poor soil conditions that are prime habitat for noxious weed infestation, the BLM said.

Aircraft will disperse the seed while several inches of snow remain on the ground.

“Past experience shows us that we experience the greatest seeding success when we disperse seed on snow,” said Jim Dollerschell, a rangeland management specialist with the BLM.

Dollerschell said the seeds collect heat and infiltrate through the snow to the soil surface.

This is the second reseeding operation since the fire. The first, consisting of a sterile annual mix, took place late last summer in an effort to hold soil and slow erosion until a native species mix could be applied.

The seeds cost the BLM nearly $900,000.


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