Idaho Fish and Game has hired an aerial applicator to spray sections of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area to control invasive grasses.
The flights by airplane and helicopter are expected to happen sometime this month, depending on weather conditions. The spraying will occur in areas near Table Rock and Lucky Peak/Idaho 21 that are closed to the public because of fire damage but Fish and Game wanted to alert the public to the possibility of low-flying aircraft. The flights likely will take two days.
The spraying will target 1,200 acres burned this past summer by the Table Rock and Mile Marker 14 fires. Most of that (about 1,000 acres) is in the Mile Marker 14 area. The area near Table Rock is north and west of the Homestead Trail, which begins in Harris Ranch.
“Maintaining and restoring wildlife habitat on the WMA is one of the department’s highest priorities,” WMA manager Krista Biorn said in a press release. “One of the biggest obstacles is the presence or spread of invasive annual grasses such as downy brome, or cheatgrass.”
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The treatment being conducted includes a microorganism that inhibits the growth of cheatgrass.
“This will allow Fish and Game the opportunity to control cheatgrass over a longer period of time, focus more on re-establishing native vegetation, and hopefully minimize fires and the loss of wildlife habitat in the future,” Biorn said.