Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Mojave Desert Initiative
Southwest Region, December 11, 2007
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This initiative is a collaborative effort among Federal and State agencies to protect and restore native plant habitats in the Nevada, Arizona, and Utah portions of the Mojave Desert ecoregion.  Over one million acres in these three states burned in wildfires since 2005.  These fires have been fueled by invasive, non-native plants such as cheat grass and red brome.  Much of the burned area is critical habitat for the Mojave desert tortoise and habitat for several rare plants and other unique wildlife species.  Native Mojave Desert species are not fire-adapted and are easily killed or damaged by wildfire.  Natural recovery of burned areas is slow at best; repeated fires can result in permanent loss of native species. 


The Mojave Desert Initiative (MDI) participants met December 11, 2007, to continue work on an action plan for Fiscal Year 2008.  Short-term priority actions for FY2008 include a rapid assessment of burned areas and prioritization of areas for protection from wildfire and for restoration; developing standard guidelines for fire suppression in the Mojave Desert and coordinating with personnel from Federal agencies and interagency fire centers on appropriate techniques; continuing ongoing research and monitoring and seeking funds to continue priority projects; developing an outreach strategy and products; and completing proposals for BLM's Healthy Lands Initiative for future on-the-ground projects. 




Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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