Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Range

In the past 24 hours, 18 inches of snow has fallen in the Wood River Valley. The power is out at Silver Creek Preserve due to blasting wind and drifting snow. In North Idaho, 14 new inches of powder covers the ground, and East Idaho is experiencing a white-out. Even those of us who live in Boise were greeted by snow and ice this morning.

Chances are, if you’re in Idaho today, you’re experiencing a bit of winter weather.

For us, all this might be an inconvenience. But for mule deer and other big game, it's a matter of life and death.

Our big game herds need places where they can escape this heavy snow, places where they can find nutritious forage and save energy to get them through this harsh weather.

The valleys—once covered in farms and ranches—offer the best hope for big game. But as those farms and ranches are developed deer have to deal with new hazards—roads, dogs, less native plants, more people disturbing them.

That’s why protecting winter range is so important. And you can help, too. Whether it’s driving slower or helping plant bitterbrush, there are many ways you can help make winter easier on big game animals. Read more on how you can lend a "helping hoof." -- Matt Miller

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