Post-Wildfire Restoration in Southeast Oregon - Long Draw Fire

Background information.—The Long Draw fire was ignited by a lightning strike on July 8, 2012 on land southwest of Burns Junction, Oregon. Within 2 hours, the fire had burned several thousand acres. By the time of containment on July 16, 2012, the fire had burned a total of 558,198 acres of land that had previously provided forage for livestock and wild horses and habitat for sage-grouse and other wildlife. As a consequence of this fire, the burned area faced the immediate risks of erosion and invasion by noxious weeds. The Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District responded to this threat with the Long Draw Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Plan, which is designed to ensure recovery and protection of natural resources, ... Show More

Background information.—The Long Draw fire was ignited by a lightning strike on July 8, 2012 on land southwest of Burns Junction, Oregon. Within 2 hours, the fire had burned several thousand acres. By the time of containment on July 16, 2012, the fire had burned a total of 558,198 acres of land that had previously provided forage for livestock and wild horses and habitat for sage-grouse and other wildlife. As a consequence of this fire, the burned area faced the immediate risks of erosion and invasion by noxious weeds. The Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District responded to this threat with the Long Draw Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Plan, which is designed to ensure recovery and protection of natural resources, promote desirable vegetation cover, and restore wildlife habitat. Treatments across the landscape included seeding of native and other perennial grasses, aerial and drill seeding of sagebrush seeds, installation of temporary and permanent fencing, repair of water infrastructure, and treatment and monitoring of identified invasive noxious weeds. The goal of this project is to restore the ecological condition and function of the landscape, which, if achieved, will result in improved habitat for wildlife, allow for continued livestock grazing through improved forage availability, provide habitat for wild horses, reduce the risk of erosion, enhance recreation opportunities, and provide better community protection from the risk of future wildfires.

The U.S. Geological Survey collected data on restoration activities and expenditures to estimate the economic activity supported by this project. Background information on the Long Draw project was obtained from Brian Watts, BLM, written commun., 2015; and Blackwood, 2013.
 
Economic impacts .—The Long Draw fire restoration project began in 2013 and continued into 2014, and had a total cost of more than $5,525,000 during this period (2014 dollars). Approximately 69 percent of project funds was spent within the local economy, and supported an estimated total of 46.6 job-years; $2,262,000 in labor income; $2,664,000 value added; and $6,248,000 in economic output within the local region near the fire’s recovery effort. Including both local and nonlocal expenditures, the Long Draw fire restoration project supported an estimated 89.5 job-years; $5,263,000 in labor income; $6,713,000 in value added; and $13,514,000 in economic output in the Western States economy. The Long Draw fire restoration project will continue after 2014.  Show Less

Contact(s): Catherine M Cullinane Thomas, Christopher C Huber.

Overview

Project Period: 2013-2014

Location: Oregon

Restoration Type: Post-fire restoration

Lead Agency: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Economic Impacts
Western States Economic Impacts (2014 dollars):

Total Project Expenditures: $5,525,000


Job-Years: 89.5 (16.2 per $1M)

Labor Income: $5,263,000 ($953K per $1M)

Value Added: $6,713,000 ($1.2M per $1M)

Economic Output: $13,514,000 ($2.4M per $1M)

Local Economic Impacts (2014 dollars):

Local Project Expenditures: $3,800,000

Percent of Project Expenditures Spent Locally: 69%

Local Job-Years: 46.6

Local Labor Income: $2,262,000

Local Value Added: $2,664,000

Local Economic Output: $6,248,000

Big Picture
Main Project: Post-Wildfire Restoration in Southeast Oregon

The 2012 fire season was very active in the western United States. Fires began early in the spring in the southwest, and moved into both the intermountain and Great Basin regions by early summer. Southeast Oregon was no exception; the typical fire season in this region begins in late July, but in 2012, it began in early April with several fires burning more than 1,000 acres. Leading up to the 2012 fire season, southeast Oregon had an unusually low snowpack followed by less than normal spring rains, which resulted in very low moisture content in soil and live biomass. Dry sagebrush mixed in with stands of juniper and relatively continuous beds of dry grass dominated the landscape. These dry conditions intensified the Miller Homestead ... Show More

The 2012 fire season was very active in the western United States. Fires began early in the spring in the southwest, and moved into both the intermountain and Great Basin regions by early summer. Southeast Oregon was no exception; the typical fire season in this region begins in late July, but in 2012, it began in early April with several fires burning more than 1,000 acres. Leading up to the 2012 fire season, southeast Oregon had an unusually low snowpack followed by less than normal spring rains, which resulted in very low moisture content in soil and live biomass. Dry sagebrush mixed in with stands of juniper and relatively continuous beds of dry grass dominated the landscape. These dry conditions intensified the Miller Homestead fire (160,801 acres) and the Long Draw fire (558,198 acres), both of which ignited from afternoon lightning strikes during a storm on July 8, 2012. The Miller Homestead fire burned within the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Burns District, while the Long Draw fire burned primarily within the BLM’s Vale District. Although the majority of land burned in these two fires came under the jurisdiction of the BLM, both fires also burned private land and lands managed by other government agencies. Both fires burned for eight to nine days before reaching their greatest extents. These two fires burned a variety of landscapes and negatively affected many resources and uses, including forage for livestock grazing, habitat for sage-grouse and other sensitive species, wild horse herd management areas, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, and wilderness study areas.

Background information on the 2012 Southeast Oregon fires was obtained from Autumn Toelle, BLM, written commun., 2015; and Blackwood, 2013.  Show Less

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Images
BLM Employees Monitoring Growth Progress of Grass.jpg
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