Monday, November 30, 2015

Soda Fire (2015): Burned Area Emergency Response: challenges ahead & invasive weeds

The Soda Fire burned tens of thousands of acres of sagebrush. Sagebrush is the habitat for the Sage Grouse, see my November 27th article to learn more about the Sage Grouse and U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's secretarial order 3336 -- Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration. Invasive plants (or weeds) pose a very real challenge to the post-fire recovery. With the loss of so much sagebrush from the Soda Fire, if nothing is done, the loss of so much sagebrush could give invasive weeds a foothold before the sagebrush and other natural vegetation have a chance to grow back. The Sage Grouse, a magnificent bird, needs sagebrush. Among the treatments under the Soda Fire ESR Plan are treatments aimed at preventing invasive weeds such as cheatgrass and medusahead from taking over.

In the video below, you will learn a little about more about the challenges facing the Soda Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation. This will be the first test of secretarial order 3336.

Direct link to video from Idaho Statesmen on Youtube

The second video is also from the Idaho Statesmen and you will listen to learn a little about the strategy for protecting and restoring the sagebrush steepe environment from invasive weeds, go here to watch the video.

Here are a few more articles on the Soda Fire ES&R from last August and the visit of BLM Director Neil Kornze:
The BLM has a nice webpage on the 2015 Soda Fire Soda Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation that may be found here, with links to more documents and maps (See the article that I wrote on November 25th for a short discussion on some of these documents. I'll be referring to some of the maps in later articles.

Here is a map that I obtained from the  Soda Post-Fire Rehabilitation Inciweb maps page on November 19, 2015. According to the description on the Soda Post-Fire Rehabilitation Inciweb maps page, this is a"Fire map showing Sage Grouse habitat posted on August 22, 2015 at 7:44 PM."

"2015_08_22-" obtained on November 19, 2015 from
I am still working on the remaining articles in this series, so stay tuned. I'll be posting the next article in this series on December 2nd. 

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