Idaho Featured Wildlife Project
Soda Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation
The 2015 Soda Fire burned nearly 280,000 acres in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon, including nearly 200,000 acres of sage-grouse habitat, portions of 41 grazing allotments, three wild horse management areas, and a popular motorized and non-motorized recreation area. Due to the location of the fire and its effect on federal, state and private lands, a collaborative approach was taken to assess values at risk, to rehabilitate and monitor treatment success within the entire burned area. The collaborative effort has involved US Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Department of Fish & Game and the Bureau of Land Management.
In early November 2015, the interagency Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation team released the final restoration plan in response to the Soda Fire. The Soda Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation plan was the first large scale fire to be planned and implemented following the release of Secretarial Order 3336 – Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration.
The effort involves planting desirable non-native seed to keep invasive species like cheatgrass and medusahead from thriving and aims to establish a landscape that allows native plants like sagebrush to be planted, improving sage-grouse habitat.
In addition, the BLM is collaborating with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to monitor sage-grouse from 5 leks within the fire perimeter using satellite telemetry. One of the goals of this project is to analyze how sage-grouse use habitat within and around the fire perimeter.
""We have long worked on and enjoyed solid collaborative relationships in Idaho across the board with agencies and landowners involved in natural resource management,"" said BLM Idaho State Director Tim Murphy. "This sort of thing enhances the leveraging already going on, and all hands and all lands benefit."
View project photos in BLM Idaho's Soda Fire album on Flickr.