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Engaging Communities in Sagebrush Restoration: Idaho Fish and Game Southwest Region Volunteer Program

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Idaho Fish and Game's Southwest Region Volunteer Program has been utilizing volunteers in important habitat restoration projects for over 25 years. We use an adaptive approach to landscape management that includes responding to wildfires and working across land managed by federal, state and private entities. The program has become quite successful because it makes the volunteer the most important piece of the project; without volunteers the projects could not happen.  Volunteers assist with native and local seed collections to make sure plant materials are well-adapted to restoration sites. In big wildfire years, volunteers have collected over 3,000 pounds of sagebrush seed material to be used for large-scale restoration, from sage grouse habitat to big game winter range. The material is made available for Idaho Fish and Game and other agencies’ projects.