Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be in Idaho Tuesday to tour projects aimed at conserving sagebrush habitat.
Jewell will join Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director Steve Ellis, local officials, private landowners and stakeholders on a tour of the Browns Bench/China Mountain region of southern Idaho and some lands devastated by the 2007 Murphy Complex Fire. The fire burned more than 600,000 acres of rangleland, most habitat for sage grouse and other sagebrush-dependent species.
Ellis, as Idaho State BLM Director, told wind power developers he would wait to approve projects in the heart of the best sage grouse habitat in the area in 2012, which led them to pull out of the project. Federal, state and local partners are working to protect important sage-brush steppe habitat and restore fire impacted areas by reseeding sagebrush, combating cheatgrass and other invasive species and altering fire regimes and creating fire breaks to limit the damage from future fires.
Jewell will hold a press conference and meet with staff. Then she flies on to Pinedale, Wyo., where she will join Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe to tour a ranch near Pinedale doing conservation.