(NOTE: Transcript is AI generated and has not been proofed for transcription mistakes.)
00:00:01:10 - 00:00:43:00
Conifers have encroached. I'm in the grass business. I sell grass. Right. And they're invading. I think the junipers especially are just a very noxious weed, in my opinion. And they just get thicker and thicker. And your trails keep getting narrower and narrower because they're getting bigger and bigger and it's it was disturbing to me because I'm losing any profit from the grass that I'm selling, because that's that's the business I'm in.
00:00:43:21 - 00:01:29:06
I couldn't tell you the reason why there's more of them now. I just know that looking back at aerial photos of areas in this valley and elsewhere, that there are just more and more of them encroaching. You talked about them sucking water, too. Yeah, I. I know every tree has to have water to survive and it pulls it from the ground and that depletes the water that's going down to the creek where the fish and the people and the campers and the picnickers and everyone likes to be.
00:01:29:07 - 00:02:12:15
So I, I think in center thinner soils, uh, where it won't support sagebrush, I feel like it's not were worth going through the expanse of of harvesting the the junipers because I think in that type of areas you're probably more likely to get cheatgrass to emerge as the dominant and. And plus, uh, well, my, my rule of thumb is that if it'll grow sagebrush, it'll probably grow grass once you eliminate the junipers and the sagebrush.
00:02:13:00 - 00:02:57:15
We need a lot of help. And, you know, rather than fighting these expansive forest fires in August, I think we ought to have those firefighters up here taking care of this in April and May, whenever it's less less apt to get away. And and Gaza, extreme fire. We hire teams that come in with chainsaws and they do what they call loop and scatter, and they cut up to 12 inch deep h both dug fir and then all of the juniper gets cut and that is left scattered on the ground.
00:02:57:15 - 00:03:36:07
Not supposed to be any higher than the sagebrush, probably 18 inches off the ground. And what that leaves when you're chasing the cow down through there, if you have to go through that stuff, it's kind of like walking through a barbed wire. It's so burning to me makes a lot more sense. And that way you're eliminating not only the trash that's on the ground, but you're eliminating the baby trees that are growing underneath that that juniper, because they're all all of them have seeds in the duff below the trees.
00:03:37:07 - 00:04:06:02
So anyway, that that burns down to mineral dirt because it burns all the organic material in it. The first year after you burn, it seems to me like you end up with more annual weeds invading and uh, but the second year then your grass is end up taking over and, and you get a real nice grass crop there by eliminating the sage.
00:04:06:07 - 00:04:38:06
And I would say the canopy that you want to attack would be anything over probably 50%. And because it is shading all the grass underneath it and plus it's, it's stealing the nutrients from your grasses. So by eliminating not only the sage but the junipers as well, you're getting more nutrients for your grass and more moisture left in the ground because that stuff's not there.
00:04:39:05 - 00:05:14:18
Robbing it from you. My plan today is means it's a high humidity day at this point is to burn piles that I have piled up with an excavator and we can control those a lot easier. And hopefully by mid-afternoon I can attack some of this stuff that's just lopped and scattered out in in the forested area. And get a good burn, get a fire line first and then go around it and burn it.
00:05:14:18 - 00:05:54:16
Well, I've had quite a lot of training in in fire suppression. I've I've been to the wildland schools and that sort of thing. But I'm in a unique situation where my son has four wheelers with 25 gallon tanks on them that he sprays weeds with well before he gets started in the spring. I have access to those and I can use those primarily for maneuverability because there are rocks out here that you can get hung up on and you don't want to want to get high centered with the fire coming at you.
00:05:54:17 - 00:06:31:19
So so the four wheelers get around and we can suppress a lot more fire than you would think with with a little sprayer. Yeah. You got to cooperate with your neighbors. And I've got a section of state lands up to the east of here that they are now starting to initiate just what we're doing. They're wanting to do this conifer encroachment remedy, and also the BLM.
00:06:31:19 - 00:07:08:03
And they've done extensive work more to the north of us here, several thousand acres, to my knowledge. And it's just a cooperation. The more where we work together to achieve the same goal. Well, I haven't received any funding yet. No, no, I shouldn't say that. The NRC has actually had a program that paid, I think, up to 100 and some dollars per acre to have this lop and scatter done.
00:07:08:22 - 00:07:36:06
But as far as the funding for the burning, there is nothing there yet, to my knowledge. And we now have a county forester who I think is planning to get like a master cater to to do a fire line around these areas. So we don't get into the end of the forest so much, just go around the boundaries.
00:07:36:06 - 00:08:10:16
And then it's a feeling of security because these fires get very intense. And when they go up a tree and shoot out the top, it's well, it's to the point where you got so much heat, you can't you can't fight it. You have to strategically put yourself where there is the natural boundary that well, that you can stop it there and maybe do a back burn back to it.
00:08:10:16 - 00:08:40:03
We haven't had to do that a lot, but we're very cautious and very careful and we've done a lot more burning. But most people are afraid to burn just because of the liability. They're afraid that it'll get off their place and get on the neighbors and cause problems. We've got now houses starting to show up pretty much everywhere, even in the forest.
00:08:40:09 - 00:09:14:04
And you don't want it to get one of those houses. Personally, I hope to never have to divide this country up and put houses on it. But you. Yeah, it's the the conifers have encroached to the point where what used to be grassland is now forest land. It's, it's a forest of primarily junipers it seems like to me.
00:09:14:04 - 00:09:47:15
And then the Doug fir as well, places where there weren't, you know, historically, uh, any forest. So if I can eliminate a lot of this encroachment that gives me more grass, that becomes more sustainable down the road, my family will still be here, hopefully doing what I am doing and not turning it into a subdivision. I mean, that's that's the main, main deal as far as I'm concerned.