The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has the ability to reseed and rehabilitate a giant burned area on the Idaho-Oregon border where a wildfire scorched primary sage grouse habitat and grasslands needed by ranchers, the agency's director says. "We're going to stay after it and make sure we have a success in Idaho," Neil Kornze said Wednesday in Boise, noting the effort could take years, the AP reports.
The Soda Fire earlier this month charred a 443-square-mile area, often fueled by invasive cheatgrass and burning up to 125 square miles in a day. It easily leapt fire lines put down by retardant bombers, officials have said. Kornze's visit to Idaho comes about a month before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is scheduled to decide whether sage grouse require federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. AP reporter Keith Ridler has a full report here.