Riparian area near Bellevue damaged by off-roaders


By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho - Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management recently found some off–road damage northeast of Bellevue; it's a sensitive area that the BLM has been keeping an eye on for years.

Roughly four miles up the Martin Canyon Road, employees for the Bureau of Land Management found two deep ruts off the road in a riparian area with some springs; that was only the beginning of the damage to this wildlife habitat.

Rangeland Management Specialist Joanna Tjaden said, “It looked like someone went up there in a truck and was four wheeling off the road. And it wasn't just a drive through off the road; they actually were spinning their tires and going around in circles. So it really was a larger area that they had impacted.”

Tjaden says most people who recreate in this area stay on the trails and roadways.

But the soil in this meadow has been compacted by the four wheeling damage, which can in turn lead to noxious weeds taking root and crowding out the more desirable rushes and sedges.

She said, “This recreating area has been monitored for over 30 years, so it's one that we do really care about. And when people drive through it, it's not only bad for BLM, but bad for the public that go up there to recreate.”

Tjaden says the spring in the Martin Canyon area helps provide fall and winter forage and shelter for big game animals and upland game birds.

If you have any information related to the damage caused, please call Ruth Miller at the BLM office in Shoshone at 732–7200.

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