Idaho Event Details
WHAT: Conifer encroachment removal of aspen stands
WHERE: Idaho Panhandle National Forest (IPNF); 30 minutes (north) from Bonners Ferry, ID. Exact location will be provided.
WHEN: Saturday, July 29, 2023, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, after-party optional
WHY: Aspen Habitat Restoration, Improving Big Game Forage, Increase Forest Health and Resilience
The US Forest Service (USFS) maintains numerous acres of “Special Treatment Areas” for aspen just north of Bonners Ferry and they desire for this specific tree species to increase its habitat footprint for a variety of wildlife, including big game ungulates, grouse, cavity-nesting birds and small animals. Part of this effort includes eliminating competing conifers – and you are being enlisted to help!
The event kicks off at 10 am with USFS and Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) staff providing background info/ goals of the project, as well as a little inspiration from Mark Kenyon (MeatEater) and introductions from NDA’s Matt Ross and Brad French. Volunteers will then be given brief safety instructions and turned loose to prune out smaller conifer stems with hand tools (some will be provided) in approximately 15 pre-determined locations.
Most stems to be removed are grand fir with 1-4” stems (think Christmas trees). Pack light gloves, waterproof/rubber boots, and a lunch. If you have hand tools such as bowsaws, loppers, etc. – please bring them. IDFG certified sawyers will also be on hand to tackle the larger conifer stems that can’t be cut with hand tools. Volunteers may also help create “vegetation fences” from limbs and stems to increase young aspen survival.
The day will end with some food and camaraderie, so bring a good attitude, some sweat to shed, and an appetite! Lodging is self-serve, so book early because rooms are in high demand (recommend Dodge Peak Inn, Log Inn, and Best Western). We will email you a few weeks before the event with more details.
If you have questions about this event, or run into any issues getting registered, please contact our Director of Conservation, Matt Ross.