BLM looking for public input on fire mitigation projects

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Officials from the Boise District of the Bureau of Land Management held a public meeting to present two new projects for the upcoming fire season.

"These projects are aimed at reducing fire size and also damage to wildlife habitat and habitat in general," said Dusty Pence from the Boise District.

The BLM said this focus is becoming more necessary each year.

"Through the last couple decades our fire size has increased along with the amount of fires that are out there," Pence said.

One of the two projects focuses on restoring native species to range land and removing invasive species that fuel the fires. The second would implement more fuel breaks, such as cleared dirt areas near roads, in an attempt to slow the fires' movements.

Twin Falls District representatives said they're already using similar tactics, but this project will help streamline the process.

"By kind of cutting down on some of the paperwork we have to do ahead of time and just really giving us a jump start on implementing more of those projects," said Kelsey Brizendine, the Twin Falls District public information officer.

This meeting in Twin Falls was one of many being held in five states across the region. The BLM said getting public input is a big part of the success of any project.

"The public is really the people who use the land, we just help manage it," Brizendine said.

"It helps us get a different perspective from the project that we may not have thought of before," Pence said.

If you missed the meeting you can contact the bureau's local Twin Falls office by phone at 208-735-2060 or in person at 2878 Addison Avenue to give comment or ask questions.

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