BOISE, Idaho — Idaho ranchers looking to help fight rangeland fires near their homes received a funding nod Thursday from a budget panel.
The Idaho Budget committee unanimously approved $400,000 for more volunteer rangeland fire protection associations. The money was requested by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter in January.
Idaho currently has one fire association in Mountain Home. Three more are proposed for Owyhee, Elmore, and Twin Falls counties. Graig Glazier is with the Idaho Department of Lands. He says that’s a good start. “In Idaho there is currently over 2-million acres of private ground that doesn’t have formalized fire protection” says Glazier. “So that’s obviously quite a great need.”
Lawmakers approved $300-thousand to help pay for equipment and legal assistance. They also approved $100,000 for a specialist to oversee the program.
The idea of fighting rangeland fires using volunteers originated in Oregon nearly forty years ago. Idaho’s program will be closely modeled after Oregon.
Share your experiences as part of EarthFix's Public Insight Network.
Join our Public Insight Network!