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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    2nd smoke was observed on the south side of Guadalupe Peak in the Peloncillo Mountains just inside the New Mexico side of the state line Coronado Forest fire investigators determined the cause to have been a lightning strike on the evening of June 1st This determination allowed District Ranger Kevin Warner more latitude in managing the fire than if it had been human caused A strategy was developed to build line at natural terrain barriers and allow the fire to move to the barriers Where needed burn outs were used between the fire line and the approaching fire This robs the fire of fuel and forces it to stop absent high winds that can possibly start spot ignitions This strategy is designed to enhance firefighter safety in rough and remote country while still protecting structures and other valuable property The management of this fire was made easier because prescribed burns had been conducted over some of the same terrain over the past two decades That kept the fire intensity at a manageable level Slowed by a couple of moisture pulses moving up from Mexico the Guadalupe Fire still burned for six days and covered some 5 900 acres Within the fire perimeter patches of terrain burned at varying intensities and a few spots remained unburned This resulted in a mosaic that aids wildlife by creating edge effects and opening up brush choked areas Altogether this fire burned on parts of the grazing allotments of three different ranches The communication between the Coronado Forest personnel and the affected ranches was exemplary throughout the period the fire was burning The action taken in response to the Guadalupe WildFire has reinforced the importance of public land managers and ranchers working together in partnership to improve our landscape Follow this link to learn more

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=55&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51b2303cd296f (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    the ground The fire crews worked in rough brushy terrain in 100 degree weather No accidents or injuries occurred during the operation The Malpai Borderlands Group and the involved ranching families thank Arizona State Forestry the Arizona Department of Corrections local southeast Arizona rural fire departments Natural Resources Conservation Service Coordinator Don Decker and all others who helped with the planning and execution of this burn for their efforts The

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=19&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51b2303cd296f (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    decision was made to only burn on the north side this year thus reducing the targeted area by 1200 acres The purpose of the burn as stated in the Peloncillo Comprehensive Fire Plan was to maintain the current mosaic of woodlands shrub lands and grasslands in the course of slowing woody plant encroachment Because this fire was being conducted under the comprehensive plan no extension revision or additional review of the burn plan was necessary in order to re initiate burning It was necessary for favorable weather and fuel conditions to exist leading up to the burn and fortunately we had both In an effort to avoid the kind of interruption that had occurred in 2006 this year the fire was ignited on the earliest date that was judged conducive for conditions that would allow the burn to accomplish its goals The day of ignition June 5th high winds developed late in the afternoon and the fire crew did well to halt further ignition and secure a perimeter The fire continued burning inside the temporary perimeter over the next couple of days When the wind abated on the 8th ignition of the rest of the burn was allowed to proceed On June 9th the crew wrapped up the burn at 2800 acres and a job well done Altogether the Cottonwood Burn totaled approximately 4800 acres Primary credit for the success of this prescribed burn goes to the Douglas District of the Coronado National Forest whose fire crew was in charge of the burn Assistance came from other districts of the Coronado as well as from some other national forest crews and from the Portal Volunteer Fire Department and the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge On June 11th the entire Malpai region received upwards of half an inch of rain This was

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=18&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51b2303cd296f (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    placed over the entire southwest due to continued drought conditions This situation meant no controlled burns can be ignited Thanks to the hard work and commitment by the Coronado National Forest Supervisor s Office and the Douglas Ranger District Baker Burn II became a reality in the late spring of 2003 However on Monday morning June 9 2003 two last minute problems nearly stopped the project The first was difficulty in finding find a Type I Incident Commander which was required for a burn of this complexity We were fortunate that U S Fish and Wildlife Service stepped up to support Butch Wilson from Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge to take charge of this project The second problem was coordination with officials from the Mexican Government They were concerned about lighting fire right along the international border This resulted in last minute burn plan modifications to be sensitive to these issues The Mexican Government made available a sky crane helicopter that was fitted with a 1 600 gallon water tank positioned at Douglas Municipal Airport for the duration of the burn in case additional air support was needed It should also be noted that they generously provided the aircraft at no cost to the project That same afternoon began Day 1 of Baker Burn II with the initial briefing and project review for all the firemen involved in doing the work Black lining activities and ignitions were implemented on Day 2 through Day 6 Day 7 was devoted to holding activities with no additional ignitions From that time until Day 9 only monitoring activities were required On the afternoon of Day 9 the entire project area received from 10 to 25 of an inch of rain The following day June 18 2003 the fire was declared officially out The result

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=17&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51b2303cd296f (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    of the fire were met all slop overs were ecologically beneficial even though at times they required direct attention to meet political objectives to respect neighbors wishes and to be sensitive to administrative constraints In Cottonwood Basin Cowboy Flats Estes Wood and Sycamore Canyons a total of 12 500 acres were treated with 7 200 acres 58 actually burned The project cost approximately 40 000 to implement which equals 3

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=16&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51b2303cd296f (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    8 000 acre burn was ignited June 27 1995 After over a year of waiting for the perfect time the burn became a reality The professionals on hand did a great job and MBG salutes them and expresses our thanks to everyone involved MALPAI BORDERLANDS GROUP Last Updates 2 9 16 MALPAI BORDERLANDS GROUP All Rights Reserved Fax 520 364 3310 Email malpaigroup gmail com Mailing Address P O Box

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=15&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51b2303cd296f (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    the large wild country that we are trying to protect Some of the proceeds from the sale of Warner s book have been used to establish a Malpai jaguar conservation fund which we have used to help support jaguar studies in their core habitat in Sonora Mexico One of the Groups major efforts has been to work with land managers to return fire to the landscape as a natural ecological process that is necessary to sustain and restore grassland and savanna woodland habitat The early steps to accomplish this have been to plan a series of prescribed burns which are beginning to get vegetation structure back into a healthy equilibrium with periodic fire As we began working toward a programmatic fire management plan for the PeloncilloMountains endangered species concerns arose for which no one had any answers Two species in particular the lesser long nosed bat and New Mexico ridge nose rattlesnake appeared to be vulnerable to fire impacts The migratory bats feed primarily on the nectar of agave plants that bloom here in the summer and some biologists were concerned that fire might kill so many agaves that the bat s food supply could be diminished The rattlesnake lives in wooded mountain canyons where decades of fire suppression has allowed fuels to build up to a level that there is a risk that unnaturally hot fires could kill too many snakes We had to find some way to move ahead with fire management while lacking important information about how to manage these endangered species The solution that we developed was to convene meetings of the experts for each species to share information identify critical data needs and develop goals for monitoring and research that would answer those needs One of the key questions for both species is how can we measure adverse fire effects in a way that meets the needs of the agencies and gives us some assurance that fire will not cause unacceptable impacts to the species In the case of the bat the answer was relatively easy The main concern was that too many agaves might be killed by fire The consensus of the bat and agave experts was that 20 percent mortality due to fire would probably not cause undue hardship for the bats This number was adopted by the U S Forest Service and U S Fish and Wildlife Service as a threshold to be monitored following prescribed burns We found that agave mortality was below this level and in fact fire appears to stimulate seedling establishment The 20 percent mortality threshold that we established became the guideline used by the Fish and Wildlife Service for all prescribed burning in southern Arizona The New Mexico ridge nose rattlesnake has proven to be a tougher problem to solve These snakes are so rare in the PeloncilloMountains that it takes 30 man days of searching to find one This makes it nearly impossible to know how many there are or what their population trend may be

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=8&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51a930753e796 (2016-02-11)
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  • Malpai Borderlands Group
    border Warner s sighting of the jaguar caused us to take a closer look at the status of jaguars in the area We invited Alan Rabinowitz one of the world experts on jaguars to visit our area and evaluate how suitable habitat in the Borderlands might be for the big cats He emphasized three main factors of importance for jaguars access to water abundant prey and isolation from human populations He thought that the Borderlands is too dry and prey abundance too low to support a jaguar population He said If a jaguar lived here he would have to pack his lunch However a short reconnaissance to the south just 130 miles from the border showed the canyons of the Rio Yaqui and its tributaries the Rio Aros and Rio Bacadehauchi to be more suitable with reliable perennial water and many square miles of rugged barrancas with no roads Shortly after that Mexican biologist Carlos Lopez conducted a study of the status of jaguar in the mountains of eastern Sonora through interviews with local ranchers and hunters He found lots of evidence of a jaguar population in a remote roadless area of the Sierra Madre unfortunately much of the evidence was in the form of jaguars killed by Mexican ranchers totaling nearly two dozen over a three year period A follow up study using remote monitoring cameras has documented numerous jaguars in what is probably the largest jaguar population for many hundreds of miles The Malpai Group started a jaguar conservation fund with proceeds from sales of a book of Warner s photos This fund is intended to be used to reimburse ranchers for the loss of calves killed by jaguars The fund also has been used to support jaguar studies such as those conducted by Carlos Lopez In spite

    Original URL path: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org/?action=view_article&id=14&subtheme=_none&module=articlemodule&src=51a930753e796 (2016-02-11)
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