Elk need vast fields of grass and brush to thrive and repopulate. This kind of landscape was once characteristic of the Clearwater, but dense forests now cover the mountain slopes and valleys.
Idaho Fish and Game is working with the Forest Service and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to do strategic burns, known as prescribed fires, to create openings that break up the dense forests. While a small percentage of the forest will be treated, prescribed fire can provide a big boost for elk and other wildlife.
In addition, prescribed fire helps prevent large, high-intensity wildfires by reducing the amount of ‘fuel’ available to burn.