BLM Closes Thousands of Acres After Fires
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has closed about 54,000 acres northeast of Mountain Home in southern Idaho to all entry until April 30 in an effort to rehabilitate areas scorched by two wildfires. The agency tells the Idaho Statesman that the area will also be closed year-round to motorized use for up to three years. Officials say the closures are needed to protect key sage grouse habitat and crucial winter habitat for mule deer and elk. The Pony and Elk fires in 2013 burned through the area. The closure starts about 7 miles north of Mountain Home and extends about 7 miles north of the Immigrant and Foothill roads. State Highway 20 and county-maintained roads and the Long Tom Reservoir Road will remain open during the closures.