TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to plant around 15,000 sagebrush plants in the Magic Valley in areas hit by wildfire with help from community volunteers. Idaho Fish and Game will conduct planting in two weekends coming up in April with help from anyone who wants to join them. Crews will be working in areas impacted by the large 2020 Badger Fire that scorched just under 100,000 acres of public land in the South Hills and came very close to homes in the lower part of Rock Creek Canyon. According to Idaho Fish and Game, many of the areas were winter range for mule deer and other animals. The fires destroyed mature sagebrush plants along with young plants and seeds embedded in the ground. To start, Idaho Fish and Game biologists along with volunteers will work in the Antelope Valley area just south of Hansen on Saturday, April 9, and Saturday, April 16; both days from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brandon Tycz with Idaho Fish and Game said in a prepared statement “the 2012 Cave Canyon Fire impacted a large area of mule deer and sage-grouse habitat and the 2020 Badger Fire affected an even larger area of important habitat and the time is now to start working on restoration. We are looking to working with the public to continue restoring habitat that mule deer and sage-grouse depend on for forage and cover and maintain these important species on the landscape in the long term. We enjoy working with volunteers that want to come out to restore habitats that have been destroyed by wildfire. Volunteers are definitely a critical partner with these types of projects where families, individuals, church groups or any civic organization to get directly involved in improving their public lands.” If you want to help, call Brandon Tycz, Regional Habitat Biologist, or TanaRae Alberti, Volunteer Services Coordinator at (208) 324-4359 to sign up ahead of time or on-site the day of. Biologists will meet with volunteers at the intersection of East 2900 North and North 4000 East at 8:30 am on both days then drive up to the planting area as a group. Tools will be provided but, bring your own food and water.

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