Pinyon Pine Encroachment?

The announcement earlier this week of a proposed change that will streamline the approval of pinyon-juniper removal projects may have given you the impression that the trees are taking over western rangelands faster than ants at a Fourth of July picnic.

The projects would be carried out in mule deer and sage grouse habitats, with a view toward increased forage production, which could also benefit livestock, according to the Categorical Exclusion Verification Report.

The pinyon pine seen in Nevada can take 50 to 60 years to reach six feet in height and the trees can survive for 600 years or more.  See page 7 in this publication by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Removal of old-growth trees is not allowed according to the CX Report, but are they the only ones large enough to reduce the available forage?

RELATED: BLM Targets Invasive Species.

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