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Restoring Critical wildlife habitat

Sage grouse could be listed as an endangered species in 2015! Mule deer numbers are on a decline! Why? A big factor is habitat loss from Pinyon Juniper encroachment. I have a plan and with your help we can start restoring this critical habitat, create jobs and make a big difference! Pinyon Juniper is a small tree that has been encroaching on historically sage brush areas for the past 140 years due to fire suppression. Pinyon Juniper is the last species to establish and with regular fires it stayed in its historic range. Without fire it is spreading into sage brush flats, growing into a closed crown. Effectively killing out vegetation and making it unsuitable habitat for animals. Within a 50 mile radius there is 722,000 acres that needs to be thinned!

What is being done now?

Currently Pinyon Juniper is being treated by three popular methods. Mastication, where the entire tree is ground down in chunks by machinery. Lop and Scatter, the trees are cut by hand and scattered around to rot or piled to be burned later. Chaining, where two bull dozers drag a heavy anchor chain between them uprooting trees and knocking them over. These treatments run an average cost of $300 per acre and leave the wood to rot instead of utilizing it.

The Plan

Over the past 6 years Gary Barnett has come up with a plan to utilize the entire tree into different products. These products include firewood, fence posts, bundled wood and chimnea wood. Future products starting this summer include, pellets, bio char, bio oil, and farther off generating electricity. Utilization is the key to driving down the cost of treatments and restoring habitat at a landscape level. I have learned from attempts others have made at treating Juniper. All these failed attempts only focused on one product making the harvesting costs to high to sustain. By creating multiple products Gary can drive down the cost of harvesting on government land from $300 an acre to $0. Gary's mission is to restore wildlife habitat and improve it through utilization. Gary will donate part of my profits to reseed areas he has harvested and put in water catchers and other habitat improvement for wildlife. At full build out Gary will be restoring a couple thousand acres of habitat each year and employing 50 to 100 people full time. With your help Gary is going to raise $100,000 to buy a 12 cord capacity commercial firewood kiln.

You can support the project here

Or visit them on Facebook here

His full press release is posted here

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