BLM announces decision for the Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project
Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management issued a decision for the Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project. These fuel breaks will reduce flammable vegetation alongside roadways on BLM-managed lands in southwest Idaho and provide safe anchor points for firefighters and strategic opportunities to more effectively limit the spread of wildfires.
Wildfires are the primary threat to the sagebrush-steppe habitat in this region. This landscape-level project supports both sagebrush-dependent wildlife and traditional land uses, such as ranching and recreation. This plan will align with adjacent fuel break efforts in northern Nevada and southeast Oregon.
“The Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project will attack fuels along roads and give firefighters additional opportunities to stop the spread of large wildfires, which pose one of the greatest risks to sagebrush communities in the region,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Casey Hammond. “These fuel breaks reflect the administration’s aggressive strategy to reduce wildfire through active management.”
“The Tri-state area encompasses one of the largest remaining contiguous areas of sagebrush habitat in the Great Basin. This habitat is particularly vulnerable to wildfires, which contribute to the proliferation of cheatgrass and degrade the value of these lands for native wildlife, livestock grazing, recreation and other public uses,” said William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs. “This project will give our wildland firefighters a critical tool, enabling them to fight wildfires strategically and contain them much more quickly.”
The BLM will construct and maintain fuel breaks along 435 miles of existing roads using manual, mechanical, and chemical treatments, along with targeted grazing and prescribed fire. The BLM expects to begin implementation this fall and expects completion to take 10-15 years.
“The Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project moving forward is great news for southwest Idaho,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher (R-ID). “The Bureau of Land Management’s decision to maintain fuel breaks along 435 miles of existing roads will provide much-needed fire prevention to these areas and additional tools for our firefighters to use in slowing the spread of fires that do occur.”
The project is part of a larger national wildfire reduction strategy guided by President Trump’s Executive Order 13855 – Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and Other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk, as well as Secretary’s Order 3372 – Reducing Wildfire Risks on Department of the Interior Land through Active Management.
The two orders direct the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture agencies to implement policies to improve forest and rangeland management practices by reducing hazardous fuel loads, mitigating fire risk and ensuring the safety and stability of local communities through active management on forests and rangelands.
The Record of Decision and supporting information is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xPruu (case sensitive). For more information, please contact the BLM Boise District Office at 208-384-3300.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.