Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Grass Roots Effort Unveils Plan to Treat Landscape in Idaho

Dry Creek Fire near Stanley, Idaho 2016. Photo: MagicValley.com
The Sawtooth Valley Wildland Fire Collaborative is a four-year old group of stakeholders that include federal, city and county government, private landowners and businesses that are working to find solutions to mitigate the threat of large fires in Idaho. The group recently unveiled plans to thin 6,000 acres of forestland impacted by widespread bark beetle killed trees. The Sawtooth Valley has experienced devastating fires in the recent past including the 179,000 acre Halstead Fire in 2012. 
Gary O'Malley, Executive Director of the Sawtooth Society (a local non-profit focusing on protection of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area) and Co-Chair of the Collaborative said it's taken a long time to come to consensus on this project but, "the good news is now there are concrete, specific plans to make a large enough scale difference. 
Mr. O'Malley shares leadership of the Collaborative with Steve Botti, President of the Stanley City Council, demonstrating a integrated approach to finding solutions to wildfire problems. They noted that while land managers are working with federal partners to treat the landscape to prevent fires from becoming large, homeowners need to do their part as well by using Firewise Communities planning and action. 
This is a great example of a grass roots, collaborative effort that is leading to the reduction of risk on the landscape, in communities and for effective firefighting.  Read more here  

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