Minidoka Ranger District and Burley NRCS Field Office Receive Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Award


For Immediate Release
Contact: 208-423-7500

Julie Thomas, Public Affairs Officer



Minidoka Ranger District and Burley NRCS Field Office Receive
Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Award


Burley, Idaho

March 16, 2020

The Minidoka Ranger District, Sawtooth National Forest and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Burley field office have received the USDA’s Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Award. The Award was announced by Forest Service (USFS) Chief Vicki Christiansen and NRCS Chief Matt Lohr.  Through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, NRCS and USFS are working together to protect communities from wildfires, improve water quality and restore forest ecosystems on public and private lands.

Jim DeMaagd, Sawtooth Forest Supervisor said, “We are excited to begin this important project in partnership with the NRCS. It will enable us to work across boundaries to improve Sage Grouse habitat and vegetative conditions. We will be working with Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Pheasants Forever, and Goose Creek and Oakley Valley livestock permittees as part of a multi-agency partnership group, working together to treat approximately 30,000 acres of sage grouse habitat in southwestern Cassia County.”

Curtis Elke, NRCS State Conservationist for Idaho said, “NRCS is grateful to be working with the Forest Service and other partners on this project. Being able to enact conservation on our western working lands across public and private property in a seamless fashion is a big win for landowners, wildlife and inter-agency cooperation. Idaho’s previous Joint Chiefs projects have made visible and nearly immediate improvements in their watersheds, and I see this as a continuation of that tradition.”

The Goose Creek Interagency Sage-Grouse Habitat Restoration Project is located on approximately 23,326 acres of national forest and 1,523 acres of private lands in southern Idaho. Treatments include hand thinning and mastication of juniper to restore sage-grouse, elk, and mule deer habitat. Other project objectives include reducing the risk of large, high severity wildfires, and improving hydrologic conditions within the Goose Creek and Trapper Creek watersheds as well as improving overall rangeland vegetative conditions, including treatment of invasive plants.

Through the new three-year project, landowners will work with local USDA experts and partners to apply targeted forestry management practices on their land, such as thinning, hazardous fuel treatments, fire breaks and other systems to meet unique forestry challenges in their area.

For additional information please contact Randy Thompson, District Ranger, Minidoka Ranger District at 208-678-0430 or David Mabey, NRCS District Conservationist at 208-572-3377. 






The mission of the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities and approximately 66 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System.  The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.)






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