Restoring homes for wildlife
Resource management of Warm Springs Natural Area focuses on protecting and restoring natural habitats for all wildlife.
The goal in habitat restoration is to advance the recovery of native species by encouraging diversity in species, habitat structure and ecological processes.
In addition to the natural environment, Warm Springs consists of facilities, equipment and support infrastructure used to carry out the management objectives for the property.
Restoring native vegetation
Restoring the native vegetation within Warm Springs will require a long-term commitment, including reintroduction of lost native flowering plants and a gradual replacement of Bermuda grass with salt grass, scratch grass and other grasses native to the environment. Activities currently being undertaken to restore native vegetation include:
- Producing native plants in the Warm Springs Natural Area nursery for transplanting into disturbed sites.
- Planting trees along streams to improve bird habitat.
- Establishing native shrubs and grasses to out-compete invasive weeds.
- Reintroducing native plant species to increase diversity.
- Establishing native plants along the Muddy River and its tributaries to stabilize stream banks.
Managing invasive plants
Salt cedar, Russian knapweed, Malta star thistle, Russian thistle and Bermuda grass are all invasive plants that are not native to the area. Plants like Russian knapweed and Bermuda grass are pervasive and threaten to replace native plants. Russian thistle poses a major threat in the case of wildfire.
Any undesired plant in a given location can be classified as a weed; however, not all weeds are equal. Some weeds are labeled “noxious” and require abatement action according to Nevada state law.
Additional vegetation management efforts include monitoring the palm tree population. Palm trees are removed where they affect water flow, for fire breaks, and in sensitive areas. Other palm trees may be trimmed to reduce fire danger near structures, power lines, and visitor areas.