USFS Regional Intermountain News

USDA Forest Service Intermountain RegionAugust Communication Design

Issue 15 August 9, 2017 

Hi there!

We hope you enjoy receiving the Regional Intermountain Newsletter. Currently, we are on the 15th issue (past issues are available here) and would love to hear back from you!  Feel free to click on the suggestions button located at the bottom of the email and let us know what you think!

Thank you for your interest and support on sharing information about your public lands. 

Regional Intermountain News
USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan
USDA Forest Service Intermountain Strategic Framework
USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region Annual Priorities
USDA Forest Service  Interactive Map

Regional Spotlight

Smokey Bear Eclipse 2017

Wildland Fire Summary Through August 2017

Please review the fuels and fire behavior advisory for Nevada, Utah, part of Idaho and Wyoming.

It is an overall busy fire season in the Great Basin, although there are relatively few large fires on National Forest Systems lands. Record grass crops in the lower elevations have supported many large, fast moving fires managed by BLM and States. Forest Service personnel are heavily supporting interagency fires in the basin and elsewhere in the west. As another long, demanding season drags on, people are starting to feel the results of cumulative fatigue. It is a great time for everyone to be aware of hazardous conditions and the potential for extreme fire behavior. Let’s look out for one another.

We are at preparedness level 4 both regionally and nationally. Preparedness levels for wildland fire range from 1-5 with 5 being the highest level. Preparedness Levels are dictated by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity, and resource availability. Our fire personnel and aviators are helping the northwest, including northern California and the Rockies, who are also experiencing high fire activity.

We continue to have moderate to heavy Initial Attack (IA) on new starts each day, most of which are contained successfully. There are four uncontained large fires showing on the daily Incident Management Situation Report, two of those with Forest Service jurisdiction ( ). There are also fires burning on National Forest Systems Land within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness including the Highline Fire on the Payette National Forest and the Tappan and Ibex Fires on the Salmon Challis National Forest.   Visit our website for more information on fire activity in the region,

Smoke from dozens of fires throughout the western U.S. and Canada have been impacting the west. For the latest information on smoke in Idaho visit:

A very wet winter across the western and northern Nevada, Utah, and southern Idaho, has produced tremendous fine fuel loading and continuity in the lower elevations. Fine fuel loadings are 200-300% above average across much of the advisory area. Recent large fires in northern Nevada, southern Idaho and Utah, have displayed extreme fire behavior and high resistance to control. Very hot and dry conditions through the month of July have caused live and dead fuel moisture to rapidly decrease to critical levels mostly affecting northern Nevada and southern Idaho. 

With the 7 day predictive services report calling for a mix of dry and wet thunderstorms in the Great Basin, there is potential for extreme fire conditions across much of the region. The temperatures will return to above normal as an influx of visitors is expected for the total solar eclipse on August 21st. Preparations are being made to ensure the safety and smooth operations of the public, firefighters, employees, and emergency management personnel. All Intermountain Region Forests in the path of totality will be under fire restrictions.  

For more information on fire restrictions visit:

For more information on predictive service outlook please visit:

For more information on the solar eclipse please visit:

To sign up for wildfire updates click here, enter your email, and then locate the Add Subscription hyperlink found at the bottom of the page to subscribe to Regional Fire Information areas of interest. 

Sage-Grouse News

Female greater sage-grouse observed at a high-elevation mountain big sagebrush site, Inyo NF CA, photo by Chris Balzotti, Stanford Unive

The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy

"A legacy of sagebrush science supports the Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy" is an article spotlight that is centered on the Department of the Interior’s 2016 Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan. This article includes annotated bibliographies for the five priority topics that provide support to the IRFMS - Fire and Fuels, Invasive Species, Restoration, Sagebrush and Sage-Grouse, and Climate and Weather. Each annotated bibliography is provided as a PDF, and all publications listed have hyperlinks to the publication. This is a huge repository on sagebrush and sage-grouse science. Read More>>

Sage-Grouse on the Curlew National Grassland

Conservation Credit System Used in Nevada 

The State of Nevada has released the first credits for sale under its Conservation Credit System (CCS) to mitigate impacts to sage-grouse habitat. The CCS was developed through a collaborative effort among the State of Nevada, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), scientists, landowners, conservation organizations, and many others. 

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest worked closely with the State of Nevada and BLM Nevada to develop protocols for piloting the use of the credit system for mitigation on National Forest System and public lands where project impacts cannot otherwise be adequately mitigated. The CCS standards provide a net conservation gain for sage grouse habitat and create conservation and business certainty for land owners and conservation bankers, industry and infrastructure agencies, and regulators.

Two projects on working ranches generated the 800 credits now available for sale to fulfill mitigation obligations for USFS and BLM permits. In less than 12 months, the projects obtained verified credit scores and approved management plans. Nine additional credit projects are anticipated to produce credits for sale this fall.

The Forest Service is working with the State of Nevada, BLM, and USFWS to explore opportunities to authorize the development of credits on federal lands through habitat enhancement that could be done under a grazing permit or stewardship contract, providing extra incentives for permittees and contractors to do good things for sage-grouse. 

Lee creek Allotment in Idaho

Lee Allotment Conifer Removal Project for Sage-Grouse Habitat Improvement

The Salmon-Challis National Forest is working on the Lee Creek Invading Conifer Removal Project, which improves sagebrush habitat for sage-grouse in an area of the Lee Creek Allotment, in Idaho.  Approximately 300 acres in the area were identified habitat supporting sage-grouse, and these habitat acres were declining in value due to trees spreading from timbered habitat into sagebrush habitat. The objective of the project is to remove the encroaching trees, and the most forward edge of timber stands, that are spreading downslope into sagebrush habitat, improving sage-grouse habitat.  Read More>>

Forest News

Rock Climber, Photo provided by Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Boise National Forest Receives Application for Guided Rock Climbing

The Boise National Forest Cascade Ranger District has received a proposal to conduct Outfitting and Guiding for Rock Climbing. The proposal received was for the Pins and Needles area east of Donnelly, Idaho. This kind of activity provides basic and advanced rock climbing along with instruction. No overnight camping or infrastructure was proposed. Only day use activities are identified in the proposal.

The Forest is seeking to determine if competitive interest in providing this type of outfitting and guiding service exists before moving forward with the approval process. Forest Service regulations require a determination of competitive interest in the area. Therefore interested individuals or companies should send a written proposal to Christopher Woras at the Cascade Ranger District, P.O. Box 696, Cascade, ID, 83611.

If competitive interest exists, a prospectus may be issued providing detailed information. The deadline for response is Aug. 15, 2017. For further information you may call Christopher Woras at (208) 382-7422.

Trail Etiquette

Trail Etiquette Tips for Trail Users on the National Forest 

We encourage you to watch this short video with US Forest Service employee Greg Hanson giving trail etiquette tips for trail users. The Forest Services is a multi-use agency that allows for a diverse array of recreation opportunities; we must all work together to respect these various uses and to make these activities enjoyable for all. 

Teaching Youth About Our Watershed.

Teaching Youth About Our Watershed 

On a nice sunny day, Jeff Bruggink, a Forest Service employee at the Intermountain Regional Office, spends an afternoon with youth teaching them about watersheds. This was a great opportunity for kids to actively learn about watersheds and their importance to our ecosystem. Jeff used a very cool water trailer, with replica homes and fauna, that helped bring to life the information the kids were receiving. Check it out!  

Happy Birthday Smokey Bear! August 9th, 1944 is the official birthday of the beloved fire prevention bear. 

smokey bear birthday

About Us

Buster’s military grade utility boots. Buster took the picture of his boots on the engine of a Leadplane.

Boots in the Forest: Get to Know Forest Staff by Their Boots!

Forest Service employees, volunteers, and partners wear many versions of "boots" to do diverse and exciting work on the national forests. Their range of footwear includes cowboy boots, river sandals, ski boots, steel-toed boots, dress shoes, and more. 

Read this week’s story highlight:  Buster Delmonte, Intermountain Region Standardization and Training Pilot.

Stay Connected

Let’s Stay Connected! 
And Additional Stories Across the Region

About the Region: Meet the Forests, Grassland, and Research Station that make up the Intermountain Region, as well as getting access to local contact information for all 12 forests located in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah.

Intermountain Strategic Framework 2017-2020
USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan 2015-2020

Media Hub: Contains news, stories, photos, videos, story maps, contact information, and social media outlets from the Region. Don’t miss the latest submissions and check us out!


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