Idaho DFG Needs Volunteers to Collect Sagebrush Seed

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The Idaho departments of Agriculture and Fish and Game are looking for volunteers this fall to help gather sagebrush seed for rehabilitating rangeland burned this year.

In Southwestern Idaho up to 80 volunteers are needed on each day - November 17, and December 1, 8 and 15.

The Magic Valley region also will need up to 60 volunteers on each of four Saturdays - November 10 and 17 and December 1 and 8.

The Murphy Fire this summer burned more than 650,000 acres of sagebrush steppe in southern Idaho and northern Nevada.

This part of Idaho and Nevada is one of the few remaining places with large areas of unfragmented sagebrush habitat. Of 75 sage-grouse leks within the fire perimeter, 39 were known to be active in the past five years. Reseeding the burned area will speed the return of suitable habitat for sage-grouse and other wildlife dependant on sagebrush.

Officials plan to spread locally collected sagebrush seed on more than 22,000 acres of burned sage-grouse nesting and wintering habitat during fall 2007 and spring 2008. In addition, plans include planting a mixture of native and nonnative grasses and forbs spread on more than 8,000 acres, and bitterbrush on more than 1,200 acres.

To sign up or for information, contact Fish and Game at 208-327-7095 in the Southwest Region and 208-324-4359 in the Magic Valley Region.