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Nevada

Nevada

Refuge Enlists Community to Create Defensible Space

Moapa National Wildlife Refuge - 2003

The refuge collaborated with local residents and partners to prune 60-acres of Mexican fan palm trees, reducing risk from wildfire by creating defensible space. These highly flammable palm trees grow throughout the Warm Springs valley, creating catastrophic fire about every 10 years. A prior wildfire within a half mile of the refuge convinced all residents to get involved in the project.

"This place is like an oasis, due to the warm springs - there are palm trees everywhere. But they are quite a fire hazard and the roots impede water flow in the small streams that support the Moapa dace fish," said fire management officer Lee Nelson.

Flammable palms trees are removed at the edge of Moapa National Wildlife Refuge. A fire here in 1994 burned on refuge land, as well as trees on private land across the road. (USFWS)

Flammable palms trees are removed at the edge of Moapa National Wildlife Refuge. A fire here in 1994 burned on refuge land, as well as trees on private land across the road. (USFWS)

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