Prescribed fires this month will improve Clearwater elk habitat

Print Article

Roger Phillips photo Prescribed burns scheduled on 23,000 acres in the northern Clearwater this month will improve elk habitat.

Prescribed burns on 23,000 acres in the Clearwater are slated this month in an effort to promote elk habitat in high elevation forests.

The burns in the North Fork and Lochsa-Powell Ranger Districts of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will start when conditions allow and could result in short-term road, trail and area closures, officials said.

The annual, summer prescribed fire projects this month will begin when weather and fuel conditions are optimal, officials said.

“Summer prescribed burns vary only slightly from the spring and fall burns,” said North Fork District Ranger Andrew Skowlund. “Working in these areas a few weeks before typical fall burning, provides us with longer days, more predictable weather and fuel conditions and better opportunities to accomplish project objectives.”

The burns will be low-smoke events and should promote the regeneration of plant species that elk use as forage.

“The prescribed fire treatments will provide for the sustained availability of elk forage and overall forest resiliency,” said Lochsa-Powell District Ranger Brandon Knapton.

Fish and Game as well as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partner with the U.S. Forest Service to promote elk habitat in the areas slated for prescribed burns.

“We’re hoping to see landscape-level fire treatments so we can get a population-size impact on elk,” said Clay Hickey, Fish and Game’s Clearwater Region wildlife biologist.

The five burns, including 2,956 acres at Weitas 10 miles north of the Lochsa historical ranger station, 876 acres 7 miles northeast of Lowell at Coolwater Ridge, 7,066 acres located 25 miles northeast of Pierce, 1,229 acres 14 miles east of Kelly Creek Work Center and 1,986 acres located 16 miles north of Kelly Creek Work Center probably won’t all be burned this year, rangers said.

If smoke concentrations impede air quality, ignitions may be delayed until air quality improves. Most of the smoke is expected to dissipate in a day or two after the fires.

For more information on the Lochsa-Powell prescribed burns, call Sean Gaines or Neal Cox at 208-926-4274. For more information on the North Fork prescribed burns, please call Brandon Skinner or TC Peterson at (208) 765-7480.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

IDFG breakfast scheduled next week in Coeur d’Alene

September 12, 2019 at 8:45 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Area sportsmen and women are invited to discuss regional fish and game issues beginning at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at a sportsmen breakfast at the Panhandle Region Fish and Game Office at 2...

Comments

Read More

Steelhead returns downgraded, again Forecast for Snake, Clearwater more grim than previously expected

September 12, 2019 at 8:43 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A group of state, tribal and federal salmon managers has downgraded the expected return of steelhead to the Columbia and Snake rivers for a second week in a row. The Technical Advisory Committee n...

Comments

Read More

Grizzly finds a home

September 12, 2019 at 8:41 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A male grizzly bear that traveled long distances to reach the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area seems to have found sufficient resources to stay put. The 3-year-old bear has been in the upper Stor...

Comments

Read More

Airboats on the hunt

September 12, 2019 at 8:43 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Steve Croston has been hunting ducks out of airboats along the Coeur d’Alene River for more than 30 years. Croston doesn’t often hunt the areas that Idaho Fish and Game has proposed closing — two sw...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X