Hunting

Donations sought to restore habitat burned in Idaho’s wildfires

Large chunks of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area burned this summer. The area provides critical winter range for deer and elk.
Large chunks of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area burned this summer. The area provides critical winter range for deer and elk. Courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game

Wildfires on the Boise River Wildlife Management Area east of Boise may mean difficult winters for wildlife after more than 6,800 acres burned during the Mile Marker 14 and Table Rock fires.

The WMA provides critical winter range for thousands of deer, elk, antelope and other animals that rely on vital sagebrush, bitterbrush and other plants.

Private citizens and business owners can donate to a fund established to help restore land affected by the fires. To make a donation, or to learn more, visit the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s website at IFWF.org, or contact Lorraine Mallett at (208) 334-2648.

“Donations will help to restore critical wildlife habitat, as fast as plans can be developed, particularly as winter approaches,” IFWF Executive Director Ann Dehner said.

Tax-deductible donations will be used for planting native shrubs, grasses and forbs, and broadcasting seeds from local sagebrush. The use of bio controls, especially in lower-elevation sites, to suppress annual grasses, such as cheatgrass, also will be considered.

Within months, Fish and Game biologists will further inspect the burned area and develop a specific restoration plan. They will coordinate with land agencies and private landowners on the restoration efforts, which likely will take several years.

The IFWF’s work focuses on habitat restoration and preservation projects, public access, conservation education and legacy gifts from donors. Through statewide project funding, the foundation promotes a greater understanding of the value of Idaho’s fish and wildlife resources, appreciation of the complexities of wildlife management and habitat preservation.

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