Sheep to be released near Carson City to reduce fire fuels
Grazing will continue through the beginning of June
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The USDA will be releasing sheep west of Carson City to reduce hazardous fuels in preparation for fire season.
The sheep will be released on to National Forest System and city-owned land today, April 21. The sheep will eat cheatgrass and other non-native vegetation on Carson City Open Space and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest land.
“Cheatgrass is an aggressive non-native species outcompeting our native vegetation and creates an exceptional fuel bed for wildfire spread,” explained Carson Ranger District Fuels Specialist Steve Howell. “Grazing sheep is a cost-effective and efficient way to fight the spread of the problematic invasive species.”
The sheep will come from the Borda Land and Sheep Company based in Gardnerville. They will release approximately 750 ewes and lambs to be observed by herders and livestock guard dogs.
“This year marks the 17th year of implementing this important fuel reduction project across the Carson City wildland urban interface, following the heels of the Waterfall Fire in 2004,” said Lyndsey Boyer, Carson City Open Space Manager. “This project is critical in reducing the fine fuel load to keep our community safe from wildfires.”
The specific area the sheep will be released in to is called The West Carson Fuels Project Area, located southeast of King’s Canyon Road near the C-Hill area.
The sheep will first be released behind the Greenhouse Garden Center located at 2450 South Curry Street. Next week, more sheep will be released behind Western Nevada Community College.
Grazing will continue through the beginning of June.
The area is also popular for people to hike with their dogs. As such, the USDA is asking people to mind their dogs if they are hiking through the area.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep all dogs leashed while hiking through the area where sheep are grazing,” said Howell. “No matter how well trained a dog is, their instinct to chase could put them and the sheep in danger.”
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