Boise & Garden City

Live next to Boise’s open space reserves? This permit would let you weed-whack next to your land.

Boise looks to homeowners to fight fire, invasive species in the Foothills

Some homeowners have been doing this already around property on what’s known as the wildland-urban interface — the boundary between developed and undeveloped land — even though it’s illegal. Brett Hutcheson was once one of them, now Boise Parks an
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Some homeowners have been doing this already around property on what’s known as the wildland-urban interface — the boundary between developed and undeveloped land — even though it’s illegal. Brett Hutcheson was once one of them, now Boise Parks an

After more than a year of planning, the city of Boise will issue permits allowing owners of property next to open space reserves to weed-whack grasses and other non-native species in the public land.

The trimming can be conducted in a 20-foot-wide zone next to the property line dividing private land from open space reserves. Only plastic blades and string can be used to trim these fuels. Metal blades and chains are prohibited.

Property owners also can scatter seed native grasses in the 20-foot buffer. Martha Brabec, the city of Boise’s Foothills Restoration specialist, will inform property owners of which native grass species are permitted.

The city manages more than 4,200 acres of open space reserves, much of it in the Foothills. A lot of that land abuts private parcels. Reducing fuels in the 20-foot buffer should reduce the risk of wildfire spreading to private property.

In addition to permitting private property owners to conduct trimming, the city mows grasses, allows grazing and applies herbicides to reduce fire risk on its reserves. Boise also works to educate private property owners on how to reduce fire risks on their own property.

An application form for the trimming permit is online at www.AdaFireAdapted.org. Click on “Citizen Fuel Reduction Policy” under the “HOMEOWNER” tab.

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