Plants for Habitat
Since 2007 the Border Resource Area (BRA) in the Spokane District has been studying, collecting, and growing native plants for restoration and rehabilitation projects in their district. After collecting Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus), and Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) seeds from BLM lands in Washington, the district contracted with Benson Farms in Moses Lake, WA to grow the species for future restoration projects.
Funding for this project also enabled the district to build a small greenhouse for production of native forbs and shrubs. The emphasis is on species that are desirable for wildlife. In addition, the BRA has taken the first steps to produce Camas (Camassia) and other culturally significant plants used by local Native American tribes. In the future the Spokane District hopes to collaborate with the tribes on several projects.
In November and December of 2008, BRA staff hand-broadcasted a mix of Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) and other native plants. By planting native seed in the vicinity of about 50 locations of Spalding's silene (Silene spaldingii), the BRA hopes to encourage population recovery of the listed plant.