Published since 1946
BLM Releases Draft Programmatic EIS on Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin
The Bureau of Land Management(BLM) announced on June 21 the release of a draft programmatic environmental impact statement evaluating the creation of fuel breaks within the 223 million-acre Great Basin. The preferred alternative would create a system of 11,000 miles of fuel breaks intended to help slow the progress of wildfires; the fuel breaks would be strategically placed along roads and right of ways on BLM lands. The fuel breaks could include brown strips where all vegetation is removed, green strips where flammable vegetation has been replaced with less flammable vegetation, and mowing or targeted grazing to reduce vegetation.
“Fuel breaks have proven to be very effective in slowing rangeland wildfires, making them easier and safer for wildland firefighters to control,” said John Ruhs, State Director for BLM Idaho, which is hosting the Great Basin Fuel Breaks EIS Team. “We believe that creating a system of fuel breaks will help us enhance and improve our working landscapes.”
The BLM hosted public meetings within the region in mid-July and will be accepting public comments until August 5. The Draft Programmatic EIS is available on the BLM Land Use Planning website.