Volunteers come together to restore vegetation on the Boise River

Credit: Ryan Hilliard / KTVB

Volunteers come together to restore vegetation on the Boise River

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 5:40 PM

BOISE -- 2013 was a very expensive fire season in Idaho in which thousands of people were evacuated, homes were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness were scorched. But the fires also took a toll on fish, wildlife and recreation in the area.

But today, a group of about 100 volunteer anglers set out into one of the hardest hit areas, by the South Fork of the Boise River, to try to help the land heal.

Scott Bodle, a wildlife biologist for the Mountain Home Ranger District said,"It's a great turnout."

The volunteers from Trout Unlimited and Mountain Home Air Force Base planted hundreds of seedlings. The area they worked in was devastated after the Pony and Elk Complex fires last summer. Thousands of acres were decimated as vegetation was turned to ash.

Bodle said,  "We've lost a lot of the forest and cover down in this area. These used to be sagebrush and bitterbrush, which were really important for the big game species."

The loss of all those plants and trees also left the hills susceptible to mudslides, and even more of this beautiful country was washed away.

Many of the volunteers had already seen the devastation left by the fires, and knew they had to help

Wes Atkinson, a volunteer said, "I'm actually just a fisherman, and I wanted to come out and help restore the habitat, and make it possible for us to have some good fish next Summer."

 

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