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BLM authorizes expanded military training area in Idaho

No live-fire exercises will take place in the area
BLM granted authorization to the Idaho National Guard Friday
BLM granted authorization to the Idaho National Guard Friday(The Bureau of Land Management)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 4:14 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Idaho Bureau of Land Management has authorized an expanded military training area in southwest Idaho.

The expansion grants the Idaho National Guard 44 square miles of Federal and State land west of Mountain Home and loss of areas within the Orchard Combat Training Center prohibited to protect native shrublands.

“Fire suppression and habitat restoration efforts by the Idaho Army National Guard within the Orchard Combat Training Center have resulted in an increase in shrublands over the years,” said Brent Ralston, BLM Four Rivers Field Manager. “Our Resource Management Plan for the area restricts heavy equipment training in shrublands and this was the primary reason the Guard looked to train in other areas.”

The expanded area is largely devoid of shrubs, being dominated by invasive annual grasses like cheatgrass.

An environmental impact report was done to assess the impacts of moving heavy equipment and other actions conducted by the National Guard. It was determined to be within acceptable levels.

No live-fire exercises will take place in the area.

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