Federal Officials to Raise Fire Awareness to Protect Sage Grouse Habitat
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management as well as other federal and state agencies are starting a public information campaign intended to reduce human-caused fires in sagebrush steppe areas in Idaho.
The Idaho office of the BLM in a statement Thursday says efforts will include radio and television announcements, social media postings and a billboard on Interstate 84 between the Broadway and Gowen Field off-ramps in Boise.
The agency says fire helps invasive cheatgrass take over sagebrush steppe areas and eventually outcompetes native plants. The sagebrush steppe is habitat for sage grouse, which is under consideration for federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
The agency says that sagebrush steppe burns only every 20 to 100 areas, but cheatgrass areas burn far more frequently.