Idaho Partners in Flight has 1 an ambitious plan to improve habitat for birds in Idaho. The Idaho Bird Conservation plan lays out strategies for keeping bird habitats and making them better with a focus on partnerships and voluntary actions. Idaho Partners in Flight is a coalition of state and federal agencies, conservation groups, academic institutions, private businesses, and citizens who share a common vision: to keep bird populations and their habitats healthy.
According to Idaho Partners in Flight Coordinator Sharon Ritter, the Idaho Bird Conservation Plan takes a habitat-based approach, rather than a species-based approach to bird conservation. The plan identifies the four highest priority habitats for birds: riparian areas, wetlands, sagebrush shrublands, and ponderosa pine forests. It describes what birds need and gives directions for maintaining and restoring habitats. Healthy habitats will not only benefit birds, but also plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and people.
"There's a reason it's called Partners in Flight," Ritter said. "It took a partnership to write the plan, and it will take even more partnerships to get habitat projects on the ground." Ritter also emphasized the voluntary aspect of this program. "We're lucky in Idaho that we have the luxury of time and space to turn around declining bird populations before they become endangered. We think this can be done through voluntary efforts, and we recognize the needs of humans in these ecosystems as well as those of birds."
Ritter will receive an award this month from the national Partners in Flight organization for her leadership in the new plan.
To obtain a copy of the plan, contact Wayne Melquist, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707; 208-334-2920.