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Idaho Fish and Game

Fish and Game seeks volunteers to plant sagebrush to rehabilitate big game winter range damaged by wildfires


Volunteers are a critical piece to the habitat rehabilitation efforts after forest and range fires

The Magic Valley Region, Idaho Fish and Game, in partnership with the Twin Falls District, BLM are seeking volunteers to help plant sagebrush to rehabilitate big game winter range at two different locations in the Magic Valley.

The goal is to plant 13,000 seedlings over two weekends.

On April 1, 2023, volunteers are needed to help rehabilitate the area burned in the Blue Gulch Fire near Balanced Rock. In 2022 the Blue Gulch Fire burned 535 acres of upland bird habitat west of Buhl. To jump start the regrowth of the important habitat, biologists with Fish and Game are seeking volunteers to help plant sagebrush seedlings on Saturday, April 1. Volunteers will meet at the planting site at 9:00 a.m. 

College of Southern Idaho students help to plant sagebrush.

The second planting will be held on Saturday April 22, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the area burned by the 2020 Badger Fire south of Hansen. The planting location will be in the Dry Creek area directly south of Hansen. We'll meet at the mouth of Dry Creek road at 8:30 a.m. A 4 wheel-drive or high clearance vehicle is recommended.

Volunteers are key to getting large habitat rehabilitation projects completed.

Brandon Tycz with Idaho Fish and Game said “the 2022 Blue Gulch Fire impacted a large area of upland bird habitat and the 2020 Badger Fire affected an even larger area of important big game winter range and the time is now to start working on restoration. We are looking to working with the public to continue restoring habitat that mule deer, sage-grouse and upland birds depend on for forage and cover and maintain these important species on the landscape in the long term. We enjoy working with volunteers that want to come out to restore habitats that have been destroyed by wildfire. Volunteers are definitely a critical partner with these types of projects where families, individuals, church groups or any civic organization to get directly involved in improving their public lands.”

Any one interested in helping out needs to call the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359 to sign up. Maps with directions to both planting sites will be emailed directly to those who sign up. 

Volunteers should come prepared for cool weather and bring a lunch and water.

To sign up or for more information, call the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.