The Badger Fire in 2020 burned thousands of acres of critical big game winter range and sage grouse habitat in the front country and mountains south of Twin Falls. The intensity of the fire that burned on both BLM and Sawtooth National Forest land destroyed not only mature sagebrush plants but also burned so hot that it burned sagebrush seed that was in the soil. To jump start the regrowth of the important habitat, biologists with Fish and Game, Magic Valley Region are seeking volunteers to help plant sagebrush seedlings on two upcoming Saturday’s in April in the Antelope Valley area south of Hansen.
The goal is to plant 15,000 seedlings over two weekends.
The first planting will be held on Saturday April 9, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the second planting will be held on Saturday April 16, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
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 working with the public 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. 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.”
The planting location will be in the Antelope Valley area directly south of Hansen. Fish and Game staff will meet volunteers at the intersection of East 2900 North and North 4000 East at 8:30 am on Saturday, April 9 and 16, and then everyone will drive to planting sites. A 4 wheel-drive or high clearance vehicle is recommended.
Planting equipment will be provided and volunteers should come dressed for spring weather, bring work gloves, water and a lunch.
Volunteers should contact the Magic Valley Regional office prior to each planting day to ensure adequate planting equipment will be available. If you are interested in participating please contact Brandon Tycz, Regional Habitat Biologist, or TanaRae Alberti, Volunteer Services Coordinator at (208) 324-4359 to sign up.
Volunteers can also be signed up through Fish and Game when they arrive on Saturday morning.