Volume 47 | April 2018
As Mother Nature decides whether to warm up or welcome more storms, there’s still a lot that homeowners can do now to reduce the threat of wildfire. In this edition, learn about updates from The Network, one way to remove your weeds, and all of the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month activities during May.
Updates from the March Network Advisory Board
Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities logo. (Gray State of Nevada shape surrounded by icons of fire adapted community members.)
The Network Advisory Board held a very successful March meeting. The Network welcomed three members to the Advisory Board. Tracy Visher joined the board as the Western Nevada Community Representative. Tracy served as Deputy Director of the Nevada Land Trust and brings her experience working with nonprofits. The Advisory Board also approved Jeannette Belz’s appointment as the Nevada Insurance Council’s representative. Jeannette brings a lot of experience building collaborative coalitions that will be a great asset to the Network. Lastly, the Board welcomed the Nevada State Fire Marshal, Chief Bart Chambers who will represent his office. 
           
The board members have many items on the agenda for their June 2018 meeting. At this meeting, the board will review the individual and community chapter member applications. Once approved, individuals and community members can join the Network and receive benefits. These benefits include assistance with planning local Community Wildfire Protection Plans, securing grant funds for planning and fuel reduction, and access to training seminars for wildfire planning and protection. The Advisory Board meeting will be held on June 12 th , 2018 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno. The draft agenda for this upcoming meeting can be found here ( http://forestry.nv.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Network-Advisory-Board-20180612-Agenda-Draft.pdf )
Grazing Animals for Weed Control
Goats grazing in a field with a street and mountains in the background.
Goats grazing in a field can be an effective method of weed control. Photo courtesy of Goat Grazers.
Spring is one of my favorite seasons – the daylight increases and the temperature gets warmer, and that means that I can spend more time outdoors! On the other hand, spring also means that I need to clear the sprouting weeds from my yard before they get out of hand. Just yesterday I spent an hour picking weeds from my front yard. The area of concern for my property is my backyard, which consists of a steep slope that makes the weeds difficult to access. Now, I could just let these weeds go, but that produces lots of fuels, or things to burn! Removing these weeds is especially important because we know that wildfire travels faster on a slope.

One option to consider is using grazing animals to eat my weeds! With little knowledge about grazing animals, I asked Michael Beaudoin, coordinator of The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities, a few questions since he’s been involved in many grazing projects. Here’s what he had to say:

What animals are used for grazing?

Horses, cattle, sheep and goats can be used for grazing. Each of them has a set of benefits and drawbacks during grazing. The size of the animal and the type of grazing can affect what plants they target. Horses tend to clip grasses off at the ground because they have upper and lower sets of teeth. They can also cause more soil compaction. Cattle are heavy animals that consume a large amount of grass, but don’t clip vegetation as low. Sheep and goats are more gentle, and are better at reducing fuels on steeper landscapes.

What do goats and sheep or other grazing animals eat?

Goats are browsers that prefer leafy vegetation from shrubs and trees. This can be a risk when the target vegetation is located near ornamental vegetation. However, they can eat a large range of grasses and are very well-adapted to Nevada’s temperature extremes and rugged terrain. Sheep will graze cheatgrass, a flammable non-native plant found around many of Nevada’s at-risk communities. Horses and cattle will mainly graze cheatgrass while it’s green and in the fall after the seeds drop. Goats will graze a variety of plants, including plants with thorns.

Will they eat my dead weeds?

Yes, goats and sheep will eat your dead weeds, depending on their species. However, both species will also eat plants that you may not want them to eat or that they should not eat. Halogeton, death camus, larkspur and certain species of vetch are common weeds that can kill grazing animals. Grazing cheatgrass and other plants when they are dead or dormant will likely require protein supplementation to ensure proper nutrition of the animals. Knowing what plants are in the target area is critical to accomplishing beneficial grazing while ensuring animal health. Continue reading...
May is Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month
Photo of wildfire in a forest. Below photo is a flame icon and text that says Prepare Now! WILDFIRE KNOWS NO SEASON.  LivingWithFire.info
Every May local, state and federal firefighting agencies along with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program conduct Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month (NWAM). The purpose of NWAM is to increase awareness of the wildfire threat and to encourage vulnerable communities to take action. This year’s theme is "Prepare Now! Wildfire Knows No Season". The following is a list of statewide events:

May 4, 2018 – Eureka Firewise Community Day, Eureka Firehouse, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., 10306 Main St. in Eureka http://www.livingwithfire.info/events/eureka-firewise-community-day

May 5, 2018 – Crescent Valley Firewise Community Day, C.V. Fairgrounds, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. http://www.livingwithfire.info/events/crescent-valley-firewise-community-day

May 5, 2018 – Ember House Activity at North Lyon County Fire Open House, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m, Fire Station #61 –195 E. Main Street, Fernley. http://northlyonfire.com/news/

May 6, 2018 – Battle Born Trail Series: Fire Up for Firefighters Multi-Hour Run, Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., 6000 Bartley Ranch Road

May 6, 2018 – Ember House Activity at Children’s Day on the Comstock, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Miner’s Park, 106 Carson Street, Virginia City

May 12, 2018 - Junk the Junipers, 8 a.m. – 1p.m. at two locations:
Lot adjacent to Truckee Meadows Fire Station #221 – Silver Lake, Reno, NV http://www.livingwithfire.info/events/junk-the-junipers-2
Nevada Division of Forestry, Washoe Valley http://www.livingwithfire.info/events/junk-the-junipers-3

May 19, 2018 – Juniper Toss Activity at Celebrate Washoe Valley, Washoe Valley State Park, Washoe Valley, NV 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 4855 East Lake Blvd, Carson City

May 19, 2018 – Ember House Activity at Douglas County CERT Safety Day, Lampe Park, Gardnerville, NV, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. http://www.livingwithfire.info/events/4001

May 19, 2018 – Wildfire Education, Ryndon Country Store, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 5870 Coal Mine Canyon Rd, Elko, NV. http://www.livingwithfire.info/events/wildfire-education-in-ryndon

For more information regarding events, please contact Jamie Roice-Gomes at roicej@unce.unr.edu or call 775-336-0261.

** NOTE ** The March 2018 newsletter did not contain a direct link to the Operating Manual. View the Operating Manual http://forestry.nv.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Network-Operating-Manual-APPROVED-3_12_2018.pdf
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension | Living With Fire Program | roicej@unce.unr.edu
This newsletter is provided by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, an EEO/AA institution, with funding from a State Fire Assistance grant from the Nevada Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service. Additional support is provided by the Bureau of Land Management - Nevada State Office.