Blaze ignites criticism. Ranchers question rules of engagement in Murphy fire. Times News. By Nick Coltrain.
This is very irritating. Some of the ranchers are blaming the fire on not enough grazing and BLM’s tiny attempts to rest a few areas. The years of abusive grazing are the reason for the cheatgrass spread.
You don’t graze cheatgrass away because it is palatable for only a couple weeks before it starts to go to seed, and it goes to seed anyway even if it is grazed. Try it yourself if you have cheat-grass. Mow it to the ground (to simulate heavy grazing) while it is still green and downy. If there is any moisture at all, the mowed cheat grass will go the seed anyway.
The ranchers are a major reason for the spread of this weed grass that has changed the ecology of the West. They created the bare spots where it invaded and pushed out the native grass that stays green most of the summer.
This fire exploded at an incredible rate to become the largest in the country. What do these ranchers mean the “BLM didn’t react fast enough?” The firefighters are stretched incredibly thin. This is one of scores of rangefires. The sense of entitlement of these ranchers is appalling.
Now that the area has burned, it should be reseeded with native grasses and shrubs and rested for 10 years, but you can bet these ranchers will be using the political connections to be grazing in two years, and even next spring.
The BLM does deserve blame for not restraining the grazing, and planting the non-native crested wheatgrass under guise it was fire resistant. Thousands and thousands of acres of this exotic wheatgrass burned along with the cheatgrass.
I just got this email, which is certainly telling . . .
There is a somewhat more detailed map of the Murphy Complex up on the inciweb site
I am struck by how much the fire re-burned several areas burned in the past decade or so.
First, in the NV Bruneau Canyon and to the west of the Jarbidge – that area includes maybe ALL of the Coffeepot fire area of around a decade ago that burned both higher elevation subalpine fir and aspen, as well as sagebrush country.
Around 5 years ago, there was a burn in the sagebrush country of the Diamond A Desert in NV, and it burned that again.
And there was another burn – with a LOT of cheatgrass in the Triplet Butte area – and it burned again.
BUT most tellingly – the day the fire made its 200 square mile gain – a lot of that was right through areas burned in other
recent fires – all the northeast side of things – including 2005. Ripped right through crested wheatgrass seedings. And look at the roads in that area! Anytime anyone tells you dirt roads need to stay open for “fire suppression” take a look at that spaghetti network ..post 1361