To find solutions to our environmental problems, it would be wise to look at how the natural system worked in various ecosystems, presettlement.
A good example would be the sage grouse and its presettlement habitat and existence.
Sagebrush is not sage grouse habitat and had never been. Natural fire cycles kept the large areas now in sage brush in bunch grass communities. Every tiny seep of water had healthy riparian zones.
The sage grouse fed in the bunch grass on herbs, forbes and insects. They nested at the base of large trees in these riparian zones. These zones provided cover and food during winters.
Overgrazing by domestic livestock and the exclusion of natural fire cycles has given us the destruction we see now.
Odos Lowery, natural resource specialist, Boise