Wildfires & Sage Grouse Funding
The wildfire season continues to gobble up acres of land here in the northwest. 17 large wildfires are burning in Oregon and Washington with 5 of those being new fires according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. Idaho is reporting 8 large fires that are still active. The Soda Fire along the Idaho/Oregon border is now over 83-thousand acres. The Wolverine fire in Washington is now over 36-thousand acres while the Stouts Creek fire in Oregon is over 23-thousand acres. Resources are being stretched and officials have even brought in dozens of military veterans to assist in Oregon and California fires. Before you do any traveling make sure and check to see if there are any restrictions along your route.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service has financial and technical assistance now available to help Oregon ranchers improve sage grouse habitat. The funding will help landowners perform a variety of rangeland health conservation practices, such as removing invasive juniper trees and other conifers, treating exotic annual grasses, and addressing other threats to stabilize or improve rangeland ecological conditions. Kevin Conroy is the NRCS basin team leader.
CONROY: EQUIP is available to landowners in that sage grouse habitat that working what they call site specific plans and in those plans they identify threats to sage grouse habitat. And EQUIP funds are available to go in and do whatever activities they need to do to eliminate that threat.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.