Massive Wildfire Rehabilitation Under Way in Idaho, Oregon
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal plan to rehabilitate 436 square miles of scorched rangeland in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon containing important sage grouse habitat and grazing land for ranchers calls for spending about $67 million over 5 years.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management released the 71-page plan late last week that includes massive plantings of grasses, forbs and shrubs. The high-visibility effort follows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision last month that sage grouse don't need protection under the Endangered Species Act due to conservation efforts taking place in multiple states.
Officials say a main challenge in rehabilitating the burned area will be establishing native plants as well as preferred non-native plants before fire-prone cheatgrass and other invasive species move in.