Helicopter to Treat Areas of South Hills for Cheatgrass
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is warning people to watch for low-flying helicopters in parts of the South Hills for the rest of August into September as the area is treated for an invasive plant species. The wildlife agency said the helicopter will be applying herbicide to parts of Unit 54 on about 3,000 acres in the Minidoka Ranger District. The helicopter is identifiable by large spray booms attached to it. According to information on the Sawtooth National Forest website areas directly south of Kimberly and west of Oakley will be treated for cheatgrass, see map. Idaho Fish and Game said hunters and people recreating should avoid areas where the spraying is happening. The Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area, owned by Fish and Game, will also see some spraying. “Invasive annual grasses increase the frequency of fires, impair important wildlife habitats, and reduce the amount of desirable native plant species and forage on the landscape. Our overarching goal is to restore the ecological health of public rangelands for all forest users. This treatment is a step in the right direction in addressing annual grass expansion on the District.” said Minidoka District Ranger, Kevin Draper in a statement. Spraying should last five to seven days depending on the weather conditions.