Feds: Giant Burned Area in SW Idaho Can be Rehabilitated
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says the agency has the ability to reseed and rehabilitate a 443-square-mile area on the Idaho-Oregon border where a wildfire scorched primary sage grouse habitat and grasslands needed by ranchers.
Neil Kornze visited the burned area and at a later news conference in Boise on Wednesday said the agency is going to make sure the rehabilitation is a success, but that it could take years.
Kornze's visit to Idaho comes a month before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is scheduled to decide whether sage grouse require federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. Showing that rangeland fires can be stopped and that burned areas can be rehabilitated will likely factor into a listing decision.