Fighting Cheatgrass Key to Preventing Bigger Fires


by Justin Corr, KTVB

BOISE — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fights fires on millions of acres across the West. This year, they're working even harder to stop fires before they start.

It's called the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration and it could hold the key to slowing down the growing problem of wildfires in the West, and it starts in a warehouse in Boise.

The Boise Regional Seed Warehouse is home to about 600,000 pounds of seeds. There are seeds for grass, shrubs, flowering plants, and even refrigerated sage seeds.

But why are those seeds so important?

If the enemy is cheatgrass (an invasive weed species that helps to make more and bigger wildfires), those seeds are the ammunition the BLM will use to attack it before it can spread.

Patricia Roller, BLM's national seed coordinator, buys the seeds, fills the warehouse, and when wildfires torch any of the 11 western states, coordinates with various agencies and programs to replant those grasslands before cheatgrass can regrow.

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Source;  KTVB


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