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Eye On Boise

Andrus Center gets five-year, $500,000 grant to seek rangeland wildfire solutions

The Andrus Center for Public Policy has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to bring together federal, state, tribal and other entities to find ways to reduce the severity of rangeland wildfires. John Freemuth, a senior fellow for environment and public lands at the center, is leading the effort that will look at ways to restore fire-damaged landscapes, host workshops and conferences, and produce papers and publications as well as written agreements that might be developed between participating entities during the gatherings, the AP reports.

"The impact of these massive fires is devastating to our range and forest lands, our wildlife resources, and the people who live, work, and recreate in the rural areas of the American West," said Andrus Center Chairman and former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus in a statement. "It is imperative we develop workable, coordinated, and cost effective strategies to protect these vital western ecosystems."

The five-year grant, a $100,000 a year, is aimed at producing results by the time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revisits the federal government's September decision declaring that sage grouse didn't need federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. AP reporter Keith Ridler has a full report here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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