Press Release

Fish and Game partners with the Sawtooth National Forest seeking volunteers for planting project

Volunteers are needed to help plant sagebrush and bitterbrush to restore wildlife habitat burned in the Badger Fire in 2020

Idaho Fish and Game, Magic Valley Region and the Sawtooth National Forest, Minidoka Ranger District are seeking volunteers to plant bitterbrush and sagebrush seedlings on Saturday October 16, 2021 in the area of the 2020 Badger Fire in the South Hills. The Badger Fire burned 90,100 acres in 2020 and impacted a large swath of mule deer and sage-grouse winter range. The goal is to plant 20,000 seedlings.

Brandon Tycz with Idaho Fish and Game said “the 2012 Cave Canyon Fire impacted a large area of mule deer and sage-grouse habitat and the 2020 Badger Fire affected an even larger area of important habitat and the time is now to start working on restoration. We are looking to work with partners to continue restoring habitat that mule deer and sage-grouse depend on for forage and cover and maintain these important species on the landscape in the long term. Volunteer help on these types of projects is critical to long term success and is an opportunity for the public to get directly involved in improving their public lands.”

csi_students_planting_sagebrush_at_walker_res_march_2020
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Terry Thompson/Idaho Fish and Game

Volunteers from the College of Southern Idaho help plant sagebrush seedlings

The planting location will be in the Dry Creek Area. Fish and Game and Forest Service staff will meet volunteers at the bottom of Dry Creek road at 8:30 am on Saturday, October 16 and will drive up the mountain to planting sites. A 4 wheel-drive or high clearance vehicle is recommended.

Planting equipment will be provided and volunteers should come dressed for fall weather, bring gloves and a lunch.

Volunteers should contact either Fish and Game, or the Forest Service prior to the day to help confirm volunteer numbers to ensure adequate planting equipment will be available. If you are interested in participating please contact Brandon Tycz, Regional Habitat Biologist with Fish and Game at 208-324-4359 or brandon.tycz@idfg.idaho.gov or Scott Soletti, Minidoka Ranger District Wildlife Biologist at (208) 677-8292 or scott.soletti@usda.gov.

Volunteers can also be signed up through Fish and Game when they arrive on Saturday morning.

teamwork_is_key_when_planting_sagebrush_at_walker_res_march_2020
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Terry Thompson/Idaho Fish and Game

Planting sagebrush seedlings to restore wildlife habitat.

As a bonus, First Lite, a local hunting and outdoor company out of Ketchum, Idaho has graciously provided a gift certificate for one lucky volunteer who participates in the project. The winner of the gift certificate will be drawn at the end of the volunteer project.

all_ages_help_plant_sagebrush_at_walker_res_march_2020
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Terry Thompson/Idaho Fish and Game

Two young girls help plant sagebrush near Walker Reservoir in March 2020 to help rehabilitate mule deer winter range after the 2011 Blair Fire.