Footage on How People are Keeping Your Public Lands Healthy
The following videos depict key conservation practices being enacted to conserve sagebrush country for all users. Helping to address wildfires and invasives as well as removing encroaching trees are pillars of the partnership purpose this site communicates. This content is shared with permission from the Idaho Bureau of Land Management.
Partners Chip in to Chip Up Trees
One type of tree is actually really unattractive to some wildlife species. When junipers grow into sagebrush country, lots of critters move elsewhere. The Idaho Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Twin Falls District treated nearly 27,000 acres of juniper to improve habitat for elk, sage grouse, mule deer and other sagebrush animals. This project removed junipers using a method called mastication, which essentially entails a specialized piece of machinery that chews up a whole tree into a pile of mulch. Called the Burley Landscape Project, this endeavor is heralded as a huge success thanks to the entities that made it possible including the BLM, Pheasants Forever, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Lands, and local ranching permittees. This innovative effort took a useful habitat treatment across ownership boundaries for a landscape-level boon to wildlife and working public lands. Learn why certain tree removal in certain places is good and see the mastication in action here.
Halting a Fire’s Run
A growing challenge around the West is fighting progressively larger wildfires. During the summer of 2017, a fuel break on land managed by the BLM was put to the ultimate test by two fires that merged into the Centennial Fire. Fuel breaks often consist of a mowed swath of vegetation that can be around 150-foot wide. These particular fires hit a fuel break and were contained the following day. In its short existence, the fire consumed a total of 18,660 acres. Fire modeling showed that without fuel breaks the Centennial Fire could have grown to roughly 142,000 acres. See how fuels breaks work by watching this video.
After the Burn
In 2017, 150 wildfires burned on the Idaho BLM Twin Falls District alone and consumed over 214,000 acres of wildlife habitat, forage for livestock grazing and scenic desert. After the smoke clears, the BLM and its many cooperators got to work planting sagebrush seedlings on critical habitat throughout public lands. Convicts and Clif Bar (yes, the protein bar baking company) jumped in to take the partnership to a new level. These collaborations are a testament to the BLM's commitment to the shared conservation stewardship to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for multiple uses. Watch their work in progress here