By Tess O’Sullivan, Program Manager for Science and Conservation

Lava Lake’s habitat restoration work continued yesterday at the Lava Lake Main Ranch. With the help of volunteers, Lava Lake staff and Idaho Department of Fish and Game habitat biologist Alan Sands continued our

The planting crew

The planting crew

collaborative efforts to improve wildlife habitat at Lava Lake. Working in the lower Barn Canyon Creek area, we planted 25 riparian shrubs along the roughly 1,000′ stream course. Chokecherry and hawthorn were planted because they provide an abundance of berries that are highly attractive to birds. Serviceberry and rose were planted to add diversity to the area. In addition, we made cuttings from a few different species of willow at the ranch and planted 75 willow cuttings along this meandering stream path. The upland habitat (approximately 4 and 1/2 acres) were seeded last fall with a forb/grass mix. Yesterday, we planted approximately 200 mountain sagebrush and 200 bitterbrush seedlings and broadcast silver sagebrush seed. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Alan broadcasting the silver sagebrush seed

Alan broadcasting the silver sagebrush seed

donated the seedlings and the seed. These shrubs will play a critical role in holding on to the snowpack over the winter, competing with weeds, and providing hiding cover for nesting birds. We’re now crossing our fingers for spring rain which is in the forecast later this week.

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