Idaho Fish and Game is looking for volunteers to plant thousands of sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings during March at a number of locations across southern Idaho.
Volunteer planting projects begin on Saturday, March 1. Subsequent planting efforts will be conducted on March 8, 15, 22 and 29. Transportation and planting tools will be provided.
For more information regarding the planting project or to learn about other volunteer opportunities with Fish and Game, contact volunteer coordinator Michael Young at 208-327-7095 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer information is also available on the agency's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/volunteer.
Volunteers have planted nearly three quarters of a million bitterbrush and sagebrush seedlings during the past 23 years to restore native bitterbrush and sagebrush habitats in Southwest Idaho. In addition to saving the agency hundreds of thousands of dollars, volunteers have restored hundreds of acres of winter range.
Bitterbrush and sagebrush - both native shrubs - comprise an important component of big game winter ranges in Idaho and throughout the west. Besides providing essential food sources for deer, elk and other wildlife, bitterbrush and sagebrush provide cover from the elements and from predators, while also providing nesting habitat for birds and small mammals.
Even large animals, such as deer and elk, find shelter among mature stands of bitterbrush and sagebrush during winter storms. Shrubs provide protection from wind and snow, allowing the animals to conserve precious body fat which they need to survive the lean winter months. Because of their deep-rooted structure, native shrubs also provide soil stabilization, reducing erosion.