Porter Canyon Research the Focus of August Field Tour

Visitors are shown how a simulated rainstorm affects soil erosion.Researchers at the Porter Canyon Experimental Watershed gave a field tour of the area in August to representatives from the offices of Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller. "This is an excellent example of how CABNR and our range program interfaces with federal and state agencies," CABNR Dean Ron Pardini said after the Aug. 9 field tour.

The primary goal of the Porter Canyon effort is to quantify how cutting down invasive pinyon-juniper woodlands benefits natural sagebrush plant communities needed for wildlife and livestock forage needs. Researchers from CABNR, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and various federal agencies are also looking at the impact the tree removal has on the area's hydrologic budget and erosion control.

BLM's Carson City and Battle Mountain districts are partnering with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA-ARS, Nevada Department of Wildlife, University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) and Smith Creek Ranch LLC to treat approximately 33,000 acres of pinyon-juniper woodlands within the 230,000 acre project area. A portion of the proposed action is within the Porter Canyon Experimental Watershed, in which UNR will be further researching hydrologic and ecological impacts from pinyon-juniper removal.