In the fall of 2004 NWRC conducted a prescribed-fire at the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management and private-land owners. This was the second prescribed fire in a series that will return upper-elevation mountain-sagebrush communities to a more natural 25-year fire cycle. NWRC is conducting research on prescribed fire effects on the water balance, sediment and erosion, vegetation response, invasive-juniper control, fuels management and pre- and post-fire grazing management.
In July 2004, NWRC conducted a tour of remote field locations in Owyhee County, Idaho to identify watersheds to include in a juniper hydrology study. NWRC, in cooperation with the ARS rangeland research unit in Burns, Bureau of Land Management, and private-land owners instrumented a series of 2-300 acre watersheds to monitor juniper effects on hydrologic and vegetative processes. These watersheds will be monitored for 15-20 years to document juniper effects on timing and amount of streamflow and vegetation recovery following juniper control.
In July 2004 NWRC hosted a tour of the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed for 18 staff members from The Nature Conservancy. The TNC staff members were attending a meeting in Boise to coordinate fire-research and management of TNC land holdings and requested a tour of the NWRC prescribed-fire program. The tour visited the site of a previous NWRC fire study and discussed NWRC research in invasive weeds, wild and prescribed fire, and water quality.