The Kern Mountains stretch across approximately 60,000 acres of Nevada’s remote eastern backcountry and provide year-round habitat for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, sage grouse and other species.
Yet because of past fire suppression, pinyon and juniper trees continue to overtake and outcompete vital sagebrush and mountain brush communities as well as native grasses, thus reducing much-needed forage.
This pinyon-juniper spread also has a detrimental impact on aspen stands that are crucial for elk and other wildlife.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation joined forces with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Ely (EE’-lee) District of the Bureau of Land Management on three different projects, the most recent in 2020, that positively impact nearly 1,600 acres of wildlife habitat.
Crews used chainsaws to thin invading pinyon and juniper trees.
Long-time landscape restoration projects began in the Kern Mountains in 2010 with more thinning, seeding and other treatments planned for the future.