Prescribed fires to aid 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

Whatever you do, you may want to fuel up first

February 18, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press I don’t always run out of gas, but when I do it’s in a roundabout in bustling traffic. When you think about it, a roundabout is the perfect place to run out of gas. Being careless enough to let the ...


Read More

Sno-bikes are latest winter craze

February 18, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press There’s a new electricity in the winter air. Snow-churning, tree-dodging, modified machines called snowbikes are supplying the spark. Motorcycle riders are no longer confined to the fair weather m...


Read More

LEAP Update classes being offered soon

February 13, 2020 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Since they have been offered, more than 1,800 Idaho loggers have taken the University of Idaho Extension program on forest ecology, silviculture, and water quality, titled Logger Education to Advance...


Read More

Life in winter can be that simple

February 11, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The alarm would ring early between four and five and because I worked in the woods during the employed season, slipping my feet onto a cold, dark floor didn’t bother so much. It was deep winter now,...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2020 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy