UDAF Awards $2 Million in Grants To Fight War on Cheatgrass
Aug 7, 2008
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has awarded $2 million in grants to fund projects designed to reduce the size and frequency of wildland fires. The UDAF grants are being awarded through the newly created Invasive Species Mitigation Fund to reduce threats to public safety, the environment, and local economies due to catastrophic fires which are often fueled by invasive weeds and fire prone cheatgrass. The 10 projects receiving grants are designed to protect 705,000 acres of grasslands in nine Utah counties including: Box Elder, Kane, Washington, Beaver, Millard, Salt Lake, Utah, Duchesne, and Sevier Counties.
The funded projects were judged on their potential to reduce air pollution, flooding, soil erosion, degraded water quality, release of carbon, damage to livestock and wildlife habitat forage, and negative economic impacts to rural communities.
“This is a great start to reclaiming our landscape that has become vulnerable to catastrophic fires,” said Commissioner Leonard Blackham. “I am pleased so many conservation partners are participating such as: the BLM, the USDA, the Ute Indian Tribe, local counties, and more than 65 individual private land owners. These 10 projects will primarily create green stripping using fire resistant grasses to combat the infestation of cheatgrass,” Commissioner Blackham added.
The projects selected for funding are:
Project title: Promontory Project- Box Elder Co.
Applicant: Foundation for Quality Resource Mgt/Northern Utah Conservation District
This project will plant various species of fire resistant vegetation such as forage kochia, alfalfa, sainfoin, and Russian wild rye to serve as firebreak lines on Promontory Point in Box Elder County.
ISMF grant $355,900 Acres treated 2,900
Applicant contribution $140,000 Acres projected to be protected 200,000
Total project cost $495,900
Project title: Broad Hollow/Ford Pasture – Kane Co.
Applicant: Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) project will stabilize and rehabilitate acres in Kane County in 2008. This project would limit establishment and/or spread of invasive species, especially cheatgrass. The project would improve rangeland health by stabilizing areas now devoid of vegetative cover and subject to excessive erosion, begin a fuel break for neighboring communities and provide resource benefits for the Paunsaugunt deer herds (100 percent high value winter range).
ISMF grant $ 93,363 Acres treated 1,167
Entity contribution $ 93,363 Acres projected to be protected 15,000
Total project cost $186,726
Project title: Upper and Lower Santa Clara River Watershed-Washington County
The BLM, Forestry Fire and State Lands (FFSL) and School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) propose to implement “greenstripping” (strategic placement of strips of fire-resistant vegetation on the landscape) in areas throughout the Upper/Lower Santa Clara Watershed to slow or stop the spread of wildfires.
ISMF grant $375,538 Acres treated 2,765
Applicant contribution $347,831 Acres projected to be protected 80,000
Total project cost $723,369
Project title: Milford Flat Fire - Beaver County
This Invasive Species Mitigation request for additional funding will continue the Milford Flat Wildfire Emergency Stabilization and Rehab efforts recently implemented and ensure additional protection of land resources occur. The funding request would be utilized for additional rehabilitation and green stripping on public, private and state lands within the Milford Flat Wildfire area within Beaver County, UT
ISMF grant $ 542,756 Acres treated 19,712
Applicant contribution $ 720,450 Acres projected to be protected 200,000
Total project cost $1,283,206
Project title: IPP Lynndyl Project - Millard County
The IPP SITLA Land Block project area is approximately 67,171 acres in size. The project will consist of greenstripping 1, 176 acres.
The IPP power plant is located adjacent to the project area and has the associated power lines and train lines. The town of Lynndyl is adjacent to the project area on the northeast. Hwy 6 is less than a mile from the project area.
ISMF grant $261,400 Acres treated 1,776
Applicant contribution $ 49,400 Acres projected to be protected 67,171
Total project cost $310,800
Project title: City Creek Canyon Drainage Area
Applicant: Salt Lake City Corporation, Public Utilities
City Creek Road Corridor project will focus on fuels reduction, tree trimming and removal, public outreach, and systematic weeds mapping.
ISMF grant $15,000 Acres treated 562
Applicant contribution $10,000 Acres projected to be protected 40,000
Total project cost $25,000
Project title: Lake Mountain Project - Utah County
Approximately 600 acres of green strip that could begin a process/plan to limit fire size in this area located near residential areas, Highway 68 in Utah County, Utah Lake, and Bateman Dairy. The area has a high propensity for wildfires as recorded by the Utah Forestry Fire and State Lands.
ISMF grant $105,500 Acres treated 600
Applicant contribution $ 25,000 Acres projected to be protected 10,000
Total project cost $130,500
Project name: Neola North Fire - Duchesne County
The current proposal seeks to treat 2,316 acres of Ute tribal land within the burned area. Approximately 811 acres were chemically treated in the fall of 2007 and need to be reseeded. The remaining 1,505 acres will require both chemical and seeding. The project area is dominated by cheatgrass due to frequent wildfire events (2005 and 2007).
ISMF grant $ 95,015 Acres treated 2,316
Applicant contribution $ 95,015 Acres projected to be protected 88,000
Total project cost $190,030
Project title: Poverty Flat Rehabilitation Proposal - Sevier County
Applicant: Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands
The project is to seed 800 acres of fire damaged land with a mixture of forage kochia and bunchgrasses such as crested and pubescent wheatgrass into the burn area. This is intended to form a fire break line to prevent future fires. We will reduce the likelihood of future ignitions in the area, slow the spread of fires that start, produce winter forage for wildlife and domestic livestock, and create suitable conditions for the reintroduction of native forage and browse plants.
ISMF grant $63,098 Acres treated 806
Applicant contribution $26,402 Acres projected to be protected 5,500
Total project cost $89,500
Project title: Innovative Use of Seed Pelleting Technologies
for the Restoration of Arid and Semi-Arid Rangelands
Applicant: Brigham Young University
To fight the war against invasive weed species after fire, research is needed that will develop reseeding technologies to ameliorate soil hydrophobicity and increase seedling soil moisture availability. Also this technology needs to be economical and applicable across topographically variable landscapes.
The primary objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of commercially-available wetting agents and super-hydrating polymers applied as seed coatings for decreasing soil hydrophobicity, increasing time of available water, and increasing establishment of seeded species in fire rehabilitation.
ISMF grant $66,028 Acres treated 5
Applicant contribution $28,450 Acres protected 5
Total project cost $94,478