IDFG Partners with Landowners and Schools to Rehabilitate Keithly Fire

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Kirsten Severud

 

On July 25, 2018, the Keithly Fire began southwest of Midvale, Idaho in Washington County,.  It burned 17,600 acres of public and private land that was composed of important rangeland that not only fed livestock, but was home to mule deer, sharp-tailed grouse, and sage grouse, among many other species of wildlife.

Idaho Fish and Game is working with six major landowners in the area to rehabilitate nearly 1,000 acres of private land for wildlife through its Habitat Improvement Program.  Landscapes will be seeded with grasses and brush and some weed control will occur over the coming months.

Idaho Fish and Game recognizes the importance of the area to wildlife, hunters, and local producers, and secured permission from BLM to seed sagebrush on the 11,200 acres of federally managed land within the fire.  Many pounds of local seed is needed to target important areas of the fire for rehabilitation.

Idaho Fish and Game’s volunteer habitat program stepped in and contacted local high schools who will partner to provide the local seed needed to plant a portion of the fire.  Agriculture classes from Payette, Weiser, and Cambridge will be joining Idaho Fish and Game to collect seed over the next two weeks for this project.  Over 100 students are expected to participate.  In addition, two Saturday collections will occur on Dec 1st and 8th with locals and other Idaho citizens driving to the area to volunteer and make a difference for the wild landscapes in their state.

Thank you to the local landowners who are allowing sagebrush seed material on their properties to be harvested with large groups of people!

Contact Regional Wildlife Habitat Biologist, Michael Young for more information on the volunteer seed collection dates coming up rapidly in December.  Michael.young@idfg.idaho.gov