A portion of the seedlings were paid for with a $20,000 grant received from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). The Pony fire burned a total of 154,000 acres across state, private, Forest Service, and BLM lands which included crucial winter range for elk, mule deer, sage-grouse and other wildlife species.
Collaborating on habitat improvement projects is very beneficial to all partners involved in stewardship of the land.
“The goal of the seedling planting project is to help in re-establishing bitterbrush over a large area of crucial habitat,” said Boise District ESR Program Specialist Alex Webb. “The seedling planting project has been completed along with several other treatments such as drill seeding stabilizing grasses and aerial seeding of desirable shrubs and forbs. Additional seedling planting is scheduled for this fall and next spring. These treatments will assists succession and recovery of the habitat in this area. Restoring the forage will help alleviate elk traveling to nearby, unfamiliar areas in search of cover and food, increasing pressure on neighboring unburned habitat”
The RMEF helps fund and conduct a variety of projects to improve essential forage, water, cover and space components of wildlife habitat, and supports research and management efforts to help maintain productive elk herds and habitat.
The Southern Idaho Regional Director, RMEF Colin Hickman said, “Our ongoing partnership and collaboration with the BLM has proven to be invaluable for our elk and wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. Thank you for helping us to pass on a wildlife legacy.”