Release: November 5, 2008
Contact: Heather Tiel-Nelson (208) 736-2352
Twin Falls District BLM Buys Sagebrush Seedlings
from the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes
TWIN FALLS, ID — The Twin Falls District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently purchased 10,600 Wyoming big sagebrush seedlings from members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes for use in stabilizing and rehabilitating public lands affected by last year’s Murphy Complex wildland fires.
A presentation in Duck Valley last week, attended by Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Chairwoman Nancy Egan and Twin Falls District Manager Bill Baker, among others, highlighted an ongoing positive partnership between Idaho BLM and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes that began four years ago. The seedlings were raised by Duck Valley FFA members and Owyhee Combined School horticulture students to help meet BLM’s need for native plant material to use in emergency stabilization and rehabilitation efforts following the 2007 Murphy Complex wildland fires.
The partnership began with BLM providing funds to build greenhouses on both the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes’ Duck Valley Reservation and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Fort Hall Reservation. The greenhouses are located close to the schools, and students are involved in both the production of plant material and management of the greenhouses. The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes have also reached out to other federal partners to assist them in expanding opportunities for native plant production. Forest Service employees at the Boise National Forest’s Lucky Peak Nursery have been working with the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes to raise native plant seedlings under greenhouse conditions.
These 10,600 sagebrush seedlings are the first seedlings raised by the students of the Owyhee Combined School. Once the seedlings were harvested, they were transported to the Lucky Peak Nursery and placed into cold storage until they are able to be planted next spring by Twin Falls District personnel within areas damaged by the Murphy Complex fires.
The partnership fulfills BLM’s mandate to use native plant materials in rehabilitation projects and provides an excellent hands-on classroom for Shoshone-Paiute students, who have learned how to grow and manage a large crop of seeds with important ramifications for the future of Idaho’s public lands.