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BLM to Limit Access to Protect Endangered Plant

Benito Baeza

PAYETTE, Idaho (AP) — Land managers aim to limit off-road vehicle travel to protect a rare plant that grows only in a 10-square-mile area in southwestern Idaho. The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday its restrictions apply to public land next to Big Willow Creek in Payette County.

It’s here where Packard’s milkvetch grows. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the plant a candidate for Endangered Species Act protections. About 5,620 acres of land are closed to motorized travel. Another 1,620 acres allow motorized travel only on designated trails.

And the BLM is keeping a 128-acre area open to motorized riding. Terry Humphrey, BLM Four Rivers Field Office manager, says these changes are necessary because the area where Packard’s milkvetch grows is at risk from four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles.

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