Letters From the West

Boise National Forest drops straw on severely burned soils

A helicopter drops straw on severely burned soils in a national forest(USDA photo)

A helicopter drops straw on severely burned soils in a national forest(USDA photo)

Two helicopters have worked for nine days dropping 1,000 pound straw bales on severe burned areas within the boundaries of the 143,000-acre Trinity Ridge Fire that burned in 2012 in the Boise National Forest.
More than 1000 tons of straw will be flown to cover 1,200 acres. The straw will reduce increased soil erosion or flash flooding that could threaten property, people, water quality or fish habitat
“Wheat straw covering the severely burned soils helps create a buffer when heavy rains occur,” said Terry Hardy, Project Coordinator.
Rehabilitation started last fall and continues this summer, including repair of recreation trails, improved culvert road crossings, and water drainage from roadways.

Across the entire fire the soil burn severity measured included 10,616 acres or seven percent that was rate high, 49,315 acres or 34 percent that was rated moderate and 61,119 acres or 42 percent that was rated low. Twenty-four thousand acres or about 17 percent was unburned.

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/10/10/rockybarker/forest_service_begins_rehab_work_trinity_ridge_fire#storylink=cpy


Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West