TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Over 250 students join Idaho Fish and Game in a planting project to restore essential brush in the South Hills. The project comes after the 2020 Badger Fire.
Restoring brush in this historic winter range is vital for the mule deer population that relies on the brush for food.
“It feels good to know that I’m helping animals and to know that these animals can… live off of something that I’m doing and possibly even survive because of something that I was able to help with,” said Jacob Schaefer, 10th grader at Buhl High School.
Students came out from six neighboring schools, and the College of Southern Idaho, to put 7,500 Wyoming big sagebrush plants in the ground.
“It’s kind of cool that they have some ownership in it, and they can come back here in 20, 30 years and see what they did. They are giving back to the environment,” said Brandon Tycz, Regional Habitat Biologist for Idaho Fish and Game.
Community involvement helps make a project like this, possible.
“It’s important to know that we care about our community and that everyone else should care too, and should find a way to help,” said Schaefer.
For many students, giving back is important.
“I think more schools should get involved because it’s a good thing to help your environment, and where you live,” said Ana Hale, 10th grader at Buhl High School.
Working together to help wildlife unites people, and benefits the environment.
“It is good to help the environment and make sure that Idaho‘s natural beauty will last a long time,” said Nicholas Hollon, 10th grader at Buhl High School.
Today’s efforts bring hope for the future of the South Hills.
“We have some good soil moisture so hopefully the seedlings will take… and hopefully in 50 years, we have a nice sagebrush sea out here and have a healthy deer population,” said Tycz.